Kopuawhara Railway Viaduct

Wairoa-Gisborne Railway, Kopuawhara Valley, Wairoa

  • Kopuawhara Railway Viaduct. Image courtesy of www.flickr.com.
    Copyright: Daniel Garland. Taken By: Daniel Garland. Date: 8/11/2011.
  • Kopuawhara Railway Viaduct. Courtesy of IPENZ.
    Copyright: IPENZ. Taken By: G Thornton.
  • Kopuawhara Railway Viaduct. Image courtesy of www.flickr.com.
    Copyright: Daniel Garland. Taken By: Daniel Garland. Date: 8/11/2011.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 7344 Date Entered 25th October 1996

Locationopen/close

Extent of List Entry

Extent of registration is part of the land described as Palmerston North-Gisborne Line (NZ Gazette 1944 pp. 986-987 & 1945 p. 1556), Hawkes Bay Land District and the structure known as Kopuawhara Railway Viaduct thereon, and its fittings and fixtures.

City/District Council

Wairoa District

Region

Hawke's Bay Region

Legal description

Palmerston North-Gisborne Line (NZ Gazette 1944 pp. 986-987 & 1945 p. 1556), Hawkes Bay Land District

Assessment criteriaopen/close

Historical Significance or Value

This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1993. The following text is from the original Recommendation for Classification report considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.

Historical:

The Waiau Viaduct is a component of the Napier Gisborne railway-a major regional line built between 1911 and 1942. This was one of the last major links in the national railway system.

This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1993. The following text is from the original Recommendation for Classification report considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.

Aesthetic:

The Waiau viaduct is an outstanding visual structure in the local landscape.

Architectural:

This impressive engineering structure has a very large open spandrel parabolic arch and the counterpoint of girder spans on either side, all are supported on graceful tapered trestle piers. It is a noteworthy example of reinforced concrete design.

Technological:

The structure was sophisticated for its time, incorporating advanced technology in seismic resistance through the use of continuous spans and completely monolithic construction.

This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1993. The following text is from the original Recommendation for Classification report considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.

(a) The extent to which the place reflects important or representative aspects of New Zealand history:

The provision of transport services is a key element in New Zealand's history and Gisborne was one of the last cities to be connected to the national railway system. This viaduct, one of several on the 60-mile stretch between Wairoa and Gisborne, is representative of the expensive engineering solutions that railway builders had to devise.

(b) The association of the place with events, persons or ideas of importance in New Zealand history:

The viaduct is closely associated with the provision of transport services, in this case, the Napier-Gisborne link. The viaduct is associated with the government policy of the First Labour Government in regard to public works-based economic reconstruction.

(g) The technical accomplishment or value, or design of the place:

This is a design of high quality and the viaduct as a whole has a high visual impact. Designed in 1939 by C.W.O Turner, it was hailed as a splendid work, incorporating advanced technology. The arch has a span of 54 meters and a rise of 29 meters. The maximum height of the viaduct above the stream is 39 meters.

Conclusion:

Waiau Viaduct, Kopuawhara Valley, Wairoa is recommended for registration as a Category II as a place of historical and cultural heritage significance and value. This impressive engineering structure is a noteworthy example of reinforced concrete design on a railway line that was one of the last major links in the national railway system.

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Additional informationopen/close

Physical Description

Designed by: C W O Turner

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1939 -

Information Sources

Geoffrey, 2001

B Geoffrey, Churchman and Tony Hurst, The Railways of New Zealand: A Journey Through History, Wellington, 2001.

1990

Mahoney, 1987

J. D. Mahoney, Down at the Station: A Study of the New Zealand Railway Station, Palmerston North, 1987

Other Information

A copy of the original report is available from the NZHPT Central region office

Please note that entry on the New Zealand Heritage List/Rarangi Korero identifies only the heritage values of the property concerned, and should not be construed as advice on the state of the property, or as a comment of its soundness or safety, including in regard to earthquake risk, safety in the event of fire, or insanitary conditions.