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N(W Z(:aUa*. ^C'"^'"-' jWA-cy vjTrifc 






Laid on the Table hy the Hon. Mr. Mitchelson, ivith Leave of the Ilgiuc, 
and ordered to be printed. 


Mr. J. EoonroKT to the E^:GI^-EEr,-IX-CH.\::G^;, North Island, WeUington. 

SiK, — NekouJ'Slh rcbruasv, 1^81. 

Having i.u:i:|ir :'o,i ihc cxploiiuiuii ioi ;■> l.:i-j ol nuiw.iy bctweeu Marton s.nd Tc Awamutu, 
I have tho honour to report as foUows : — 

Starting from Marton the country over which the linu runs is i)rincipaliy open, and presents no 
difliculty, the Pourewa behig reached by a side-cutting from the terrace of the Eaugitikei almost 
on a level. The line then follows up the Poiuewa Valley to about three miles beyond Hunter- 
\-ille, and thence crosses to the Eangitikei. The Pourewa is all Hat bush of good sawing yuality, and 
the land is good; the river is about 20ft. wide, and, winding much about the ilat,- will have to bo 
bridged several times in order to run the line straight ; ballast, can be got near. 

The Eangitikei Valley lies about loOft. below the luvel of the Pourev.a where tho most 
favourable place for leaving the latter occurs. The Eangitikei Eiver is generally confined between 
marl (papa) clitls loOft. to 200rt. high, luit there arc occasionally lowbr terraces, a large one occurring 
at Otairi, where there is a Native settlement. It is free from side gullies of any importance, and 
the hills which bound the terraces arc generally of very easy slopes. The Makohine, at 30 miles, 
a detail of which is shown on the section, forms a break in the line of considerable difficulty, 
owing to its gi-eat depth below the terrace levels ; but, -as the creek itself is- only 301t. wide, and tho 
opening V-shaped, the deep part of the viaduct would be confined to a short distance, pier founda- 
tions easily obtained, and any work done built on dry land. On careful survey considerable 
modifications might be effected. Near the confUuiicc of the Ilautapu {4.i miles) the Lluiis are 
rather higher, and several spurs run down to the bluffs : tlu-ough one a tunnel of perhaps tw^o 
chains will be necessary, and the gi'adhig will then run nearly level into the IlauLapu. "^ About 
three miles of the Eangitikei is optiii grass and fern, the remainder bush of good mill timber — ■ 
pines, rinm, totara, tawa, and maire-totara. The soil is very good, as the soil usually is overlying 
marl formations. 

The Hautapu Valley as far as GG miles is similar in chai-acter, with high marl chffs and 
teiTaces above, occasionally a spur coming down and ending in a higher bluff on the river, which 
will cause side-cutting ; at 53 miles there is a limestone outcrop, '.rhese spurs almost invariably 
widen out into a terrace more or less long near the river, with high blulls, but narrow into a ra.-^or- 
back ridge behind, often actually of a lower level. The timber and soil are both excellent. There 
is one old Native clearing, overgrown with scrub, of about twenty acres at the lower end of the 
river. There are no side gidlies of importance, and no large creeks ; as at the Eangitikei, culverts 
will generally carry the drainage. The north-east side of the Ilautapu appears to be \-ery consider- 
ably rougher. Ballast can be got in creeks near the Hautapu couliuencc, but I did not see any 
between there and the 66 miles. 

From 66 miles to 79 miles will be side-cuttings and flats about half open ; the side-slopes are 
easy, and the land very good. I believe that, on sm-vey, the grades will work out umch flatter, as 
it is a matter of impossibility to judge distances accurately, and to the eye the river appears 
much flatter than the section shows. All the country towards Euanui and Eaketepauma, lying 
west and north-west of this, is very good up to the edge of the Murimotu Plain. Turaugarere and 
the highest point of the Wailiora will both be places of unportauce, the former as the nearest point 
to Patea, the latter as the probable coimection with Tokaano and Taupo ; and a few miles lower 
the Murimotu Plains will connect with Wanganui. 

r>.— 5. 2 

From 79 miles to 84 miles the river has open grass and fern flats nearly all along, and lime- 
stone outcrops occur along the liill-sides about 50ft. above the valley. Above, on the hill-tops, 
which are generally table-ian.ds, there are considerable totara forests. Near this point (Slth mile) 
the line foUov.s a small branch of the Hautapu called Yv aiouru, which penetrates clear throiigh 
the hills on to the Murimotu Plains. The Waionru takes its rise near 86 miles in an extensive 
swamp of several thousand acres, which is good land. The land may also be considered good three 
or four miles below this point. The Makioldo and Waitangi have limestone outcrops on the flats. 
From 88 miles down past Karioi to the beginning of the forest the land is very poor, made so fi-om 
the large admixture of pumice-sand. It is found that one burning of tussock grass completely 
takes the life from the soil by destroying the little organic matter there is in it. 

In two miles from the entrance to the bush, 98 miles, tlie timber is birch, and the soil, although 
richer than the open land, is poor ; but after that the timber is large and fit for sawing, and the 
land flat and good for about eighteen or twenty miles. The flat is five to ten miles wde, and all 
country lying between it and the Wangauui Eiver (some twenty mUes in breadth) is formed of 
low marl liills, the land good, the timber principally tawa. On the side of the flat next the 
mountain Ruapehu there is a table-terrace land some fourteen miles long, from Eaitihi to Manganui- 
a-te-Ao. This table-land is generally poor, but heavily timbered with rimu and kaikawakaroa, and 
some white pine,maire, and totara ; but the country and timber below it are good to the Wanganui 
River. A part of this table-land would be traversed by the railway, and the crossings of two of the 
affluents of the Mauganui-a-te-Ao, called the Manganui-a-te-Ao and Mangatote, are bad, being wide, 
deep depressions, one 100ft. and the latter 200ft. deep ; but I ascertained, by going up these rivers 
a short distance, that they could be crossed without any extraordinary engineering work. 

From T^Iangatote, 119 miles, to 121 miles, where the forest ends, the soil is good ; and from there 
to about 121 miles are the Waimarmo Plains. These are not better than the Murunotu : the growth 
is tussock-<n'ass. The Natives have a number of horses and cattle, but they are generally poor. 
This is a central point from whence branch lines could be taken eastwards to Eotoaira, Tokaano, 
and Tapuaeharuru in Taupo, all of which are large hot-spring areas, the nearest (Eotoaira) being 
only fifteen miles, and Tokaano about thirty miles, distant from this railway I'oute. It is also a good 
place for a branch hue on the west side to the Wanganui River about Retaruka and Ohura, and 
from thence to Lower Mokau and the west coast. This is the highest part of the line, being about 

From 126 miles to the Matakerepuru Falls the line is through forest, and follows down the 
Piopiotea River (which is a branch of the Wanganui), on terrace laud varj-ing from 40ft. to 100ft. 
above the river. There are a few sideg-ullies coming in, \\dth very small watercourses, only requiring 
culverts ; but the gullies die out and can be avoided by going back a little. I do not feel sure tliis is 
the best line, although it appeared to me to be so from the Hahungatahi, which I ascended for the 
purpose of choosing a direction. The country all falls towards Taumaranui, and it would be 
advisable to try another line skirting the rear of Ivirikau Block before finally locating the line. (I 
may here aLjain refer to the grades, which on the section in several places show as heavy, wliile on 
the ground "they appear the reverse, and can only ascribe it to the difliculty of judging the distances. 
I ani sure very' satisfactory grades can be got all through.) The land and tunber are both of good 
quality, and the laud generally marl ; the timber tawa, rimu, pines, mahe, and totara — trees 
very fine for sawing purposes ; in fact (excepting, of coiu-se, the open land) saw-mills might be 
profitably located neai-ly all tlu-ough. 

At i33 miles, on the Piopiotea Eiver, occurs the Matakerepuru Fall, probably not previously 
seen by any Em'opean, and by veiy few Natives. It is an object of gi-eat interest : the whole river, 
some 90ft. wide, shoots over' a precipice 60ft. deep, springing clear from its bed in an unbroken 
transparent arch, through which the ferns and growth beneath can be seen as through a window ; 
on one side there is a sort of cave hollowed in the jx'I'a rock, which is coloured red and yellow with 
u-on oxide ; the banks of the river above and below are lined with trees, which overhang the river 
cliffs, and add to its beauty. Below the fall the river falls rapidly, and s\%-irls and eddies in 
heavv rapids for about 10 chains ; while above it for a long distauce the water is still, deep, and 
lake-likcT Below this fall for ten miles the country is almost a dead flat, covered with timber 
(except a natural clearing called Ohongo, which is grass and scrub) — totara, tawa, rimu, maire, 
matai. and kahikatca ; most of the bush is good : in some parts pumice shows, but even there the 
timber and soil appear good. 

From 148 miles to within four miles of Taumaranui the line would be sometimes graded and 
sometimes on terraces till it reached the level of the Wanganui River ; no rock would be met with, 
and the side slopes are light. 

From 155 to 159 miles the line would ruu along the flat of the Wanganui River, crossing the latter 
about a mile and a half above Taumaranui. This bridge would be about 300ft. long, but the bottom 
is small shingle, and pile-driving would be easy : the river is fordable on horseback. The land about 
Taumaranui is good, though some pumice shows in it, and it is good for ten miles above. There 
are many Native settlements in the neighbourhood. Below Taumaranui, on the east side of 
the Wanganui Eiver, there is an extensive flat called !Makokoniiko, some fifteen miles long, 
extending to Kiiikan, said by the Natives to be of good quality. There is other good laud towards 
Tuhua: in this direction, if anywhere, gold will be found. 

From Taumaranui (159 miles) nearly to its confluence with the Maramataha the country is open 
fern, good in the valleys, poor on the hillsides, and good again on the higher lands, which arc gene- 
rally bush. The line follows up the Eiver Ougaruhe, crossing, about seven miles up, at 165 miles, 
^\ith a bridge about 150ft. long ; the banks are level and low, and the bottom shingle. There are 
seven Native cultivations and five occupied pas, and the Natives possess and use ploughs and 

From 179 miles to Waimika (184 miles) the country is poor, and the river passes through a short 
Horgc. At the Waimika there is au extensive plain lying between the Ongaruhe and Waimika, 

3 D.— 5. 

but the land is exceedingly poor. I followed a considerable distance up each of these rivei's with 
a view of finding a better route, but each has formidable gorges a few miles up, and leads off in an 
unfavourable direction. 

At 184 miles there is an extensive Native pa, with large cultivations of good land up on the 
hills some 300ft. or 4:00ft. From the Waimika the line goes up a small creek called Ohinemoa : 
fern for about two miles up, and good land. At the head of this creek, which is bush, there is a 
watershed, which will have to be pierced with a tunnel some 20 chains long. There are two ways 
of overcoming the hill : one by grading up from 179 miles, mostly over open hill laud and terraces, 
in which some of the cutting would be rather heavy, and soft sandstone rock would be met with 
occasionally ; the other, to which I give the preference, would be to follow up the Ohinemoa at a 
lower level, f.nd pierce the hill with a tunnel into a branch of the Mokau called Te Mangapihi. 
The work on this line would be much lighter, but two bridges over the Ongaruhe would be necessary, 
one of 70ft. and the other of 120ft. 

From this point to Te Av.-amutu (some seventy miles) the country may be called all good, and, 
with the exception of about four miles, is all open. 

The Mangapihi, a branch of the Mokau, contains limestone, and the line follows it down for 
about thi-ee and a half miles. It is a flat grass valley, with its stream flowing without rapids, and 
has open hills with occasional bush patches on either side. The land is of good quality. 

At 194^ miles the line crosses a low place in the watershed into the Paritikona, which is fol- 
lowed down about three and a half miles, and from thence, at 198 miles, crosses another low pilace in 
a watershed to the main stream of the Mokau, which is followed down seven or eight miles. Each 
of these valleys is similar to the Mangapihi. Another low watershed is now crossed into the 
Waititi, which is nearly all open fern and gi-ass, with perhaps a mile of bush. The land in this 
valley is also very good, but the valley falls rather quicker, and about six miles down it joins the 
Mangaokewa, which is at this point a rocky limestone gorge. Just beyond a low place occurs in 
the hills very suitable for the railway, which leads direct to Te Kuiti. It is remarkable that all 
these watersheds are mere razor-backs one to two chains wide, consequently the earthwork will be 

Te Kuiti, the former residence of King Tawhiao, contains a number of whares. Above Te 
Kuiti the Mangaokewa runs through limestone gorges, and does not offer inducement to seek the 
other route of the Ongaruhe or Waimika. From Te Kuiti to Maraeohine is splendid grass and fern 
country, following down the Mangaokewa, Mangapu, and Waipa, which have fiats of considerable 
\vidth, and some large patches of timber, chiefly white-pine and pukatea. 

Brown coal is visible in a creek which I visited near the Mangawhero, some five miles off the 

A low watershed occurs at Maraeohine, another across the Mangaorongo, and another near 
Puniu, all of which are inconsiderable. This latter place is all open country, and presents no diffi- 
cult feature. 

The length of the line shown on my section is 244 miles, which corresponds with my field-book, 
but which I could by no means find room for on the map. The difticulty of judging distances is 
very great, and can only be a rough approximation, especially as the only marks I could make use 
of were the larger mountains, which arc themselves not yet correctly placed on the maps. I con- 
sider the line will not exceed 200 or 210 miles in length at the outside, and I am also of opinion 
that, on survey, the grades will work out more favourably, probably nowhere steeper than 1 in 80. 
The probable cost per mile, including everything except land, may be estimated at from £fi,000 to 

In conclusion, I may say that I made notes all through my trip of whatever seemed to be of 
value in the way of information ; but, the time being so short in v.diich my plans and report have to 
be prepared, I have not attempted to mention anything beyond what is required in a report of an 
exploratory survey. I have, &c., 

The Engineer-in-Charge, North Island, Wellington. John Eochfort. 

Appeiulix to Mr. John Rochf art's Bcpcrt. 
FiNDiiNct _my report as to the line of railway would become complicated by attempting to introduce 
any particulars as to the Natives encountered along the route, I do so in the form of an appendix. 

Before commencing work I obtained letters from Mr. Woon and the Eev. T. Grace to the 
following Natives alo))g my route: Hoani Mete, Wiari Turoa Ma (Porewa), Nika Waiata, Teata 
Pikirau, Eopana (Ngahurukehu) , Meriana, Patihapa (Eaketepauma), Porokoro Patapu (Murimotu), 
Meiha Keepa, Aropeta Haeretu, Paora Patapu (Murimotu and Eanana), Hirika te Eaupo, Ihakarai 
Meiha Topia Turoa, Te Heuheu, Matuahu, Kingi te Harakeke, Kingi Topia, &c. (Jlurimotu, Taupo^ 
and Tokaano), Ngarupiki, Tukimata, Ngatai (Tuhua). 

2Gth June.— I commenced work at Marton, and after about a fortnight, during which it rained 
almost incessantly, arrived at Ngahurukehu. At Turangarere, where I first met any Natives, they 
were unwilling to let me pass until a general meeting took place ; but, as the opposition was feeble, 
I went on, and have since had a letter from the same people, requesting me to come again and see 
the advantages they had to offer for the railway coming there. 

On arriving at Kerioi I was stopped by the Natives (said to be twenty armed men, but found 
afterwards to bo only six) occupying part of the Eangataua Block (Government land), who allege 
that Adainson (employed by me on the work) had sold laud on the part of Nika Waiata— the woman 
who IS hvmg with hmi, and who, by the way, is a great warrior— to the extent of three thousand 
acres more than belonged to her. Pita to Eahui and others were said to be placed in possession of 
the Eangataua Block by Major Kemp and his council until satisfaction was had for the lost land ; 
and I was mformed that if I went on I should be shot. I soon found out that Adamson's presence 
only added fuel to the fire, and discharged him. Finding Major Kemp was the head, and that he 



■wa=^ at Upjkoa.'aio, I went down via Hales's Track, but was soiilewliat delayed by snow on the road 
down. I fo'.ri 1 ;^f-'i(U• Kemp at Upokongaro. He said the stopping nie v,-as done without liis 
authority, i ibtful ; but he at once said, " I will support you and help you with live hun- 

dred m? 1. if ■. for I consider a railway will bo for the good of iny people." I returned to 

my wo. vith letters from Kemp to Pita te Ealmi, and also to some of the principal cliiefs 

of' Ma: I -Ao. I returned, and met the stopping party at Rangataua. Pita te Ealmi and 

j{o,, . as oviTiers of the part in dispute. However, I told them I had nothing to do 

^-u' :>, my work concerned the railway ouly, and that they v.-ould be lunatics to 

sto v>'ay, which would be a benefit to them. After a longkorero they, obtainiugthe consent 

<-,f .. ,, ■ .'f Pita to Rahui's, allowed me to proceed, and eventually came to work for me, cutting 

tiie ijij . : then- own district. This may by-and-by be a troublesome question, as they are 

still pl■aliL..l^ >-.i:a oecuppng part of the block, which, according to Mr. Thorpe's survey, is part of 
the Government block (Rangataua). These same people are now very anxious for the line to be 
made, and asked me to get the fact of the Government approval of this line inserted in the Maori 

From ihc jlangawhero (Ohakune) my com-se lay through Wamiarino, near the Hahungatahi, 
and the country was said to be flat, with but some tv.-enty miles of bush to get thi-ough, but there 
was a Native track which led to Ruakaka, a Native village some twelve miles below Hahungatahi, on 
the Mau^anui-a-te-Ao. To save swagging I took the Iior.^es through tliis track to Ruakaka, 
iutending'^o follow up the River Mangauui-a-te-Ao to Waimaviuo, and cut back to Ohakune. On 
ai-rivinp "a Ruakaka I was compelled to pitch my camp within the Native village, and found that 
the Native. Paora Patapu, v.hom Kemp luid promised to send up before me, had not an-ived, and the 
Natives received my letters fi-om Kemp and Woou with suspicion, alleging, after three days' korero, 
that if Kemp desired their concurrence he should have sent word up to them before now : I had arrived 
among them v.-ithout any notice, and they should take me back to Kemp. Accordingly I was 
marched back to Papatupu, some two miles above the confluence of the Manganui-a-te-Ao with the 
Wan^anui, and there found about eighty Nati\-es assembled. I was kept there another two or 
threc^days. The principal men present were : Taumata, Te Kuru Kaanga, Te Peehi, Winiata te 
Kakai, Manurewa, l^ivehu, Raukawa, Raugihuatau, Te Aui-ere, Huriwaka, Te Whaiti, Eniko, 

Rangihuatau spoke in a vacillating v.ay, but said he was a Government man ; Taumata was 
decidedly averse to the Kailway, and also to any Europeans coming on then- land, and said if I had 
been taken on his land he should have cut up all my belongings in small pieces, and made slaves 
of mvself and party ; Te Kuru spoke against any violence, but was decidedly in favour of keeping 
Eiu-opeaus away. ' All spoke,but Winiata and Te Aurere (who were at heart in favom- of the railway) 
were afraid to speak out : and eventually letters were written to Kemp, and Mr. Woon, and myself, 
saying if I returned a second time I should be turned back, and any Maoris who were with me 
would be killed, and if I returned a tlni-d time I should be killed. Taumata would agi-ee to nothing, 
and strongly advised keeping us prisoners here ; but several others (iiicluding Te Am-ere, Te Peehi, 
Te Kmii, Turehu, and Taurere) were more moderate, and said if I could bring letters from Wahauui 
or Tawhiao they would not obstruct me. Taumata then came over to me and asked if I understood 
their ultimatuni, at the same tiiuc ohser%-ing, " If you come again, remember you will go to the 
aroand."' Then he asked me v.hat I thought of his letter to Mr. Woo;i. I replied I had not thought 
anything about it, but I should take care that a copy oi it found its way to the Govermuent, and 
they could think whet they Hkod about it. After this seven chiefs were appointed to paddle 
us dovni to YVanganui. The follcvdng men were fixed on, so that they- might have influence to 
talk to Maior Keinp : Yviniata te Kakai, Te Kuru Kaanga, Potatau, Te Aurere, Te Peelii, Iko, 
Patcna. C i the river we called at Pipii-iki, Herui-aj-cma, Koriniti, Pai- ikin o, and Kaiwhaiki, 

at all of v.' the usual speeches vvere made, and most of the lower-river Natives were in 

favoui- -\vav. V.'e vvere two and a half days comiiig dov.n. Some of the Native ^illages 

on the - ^-i River are thickly peojiled ; for instance, at tlerurai-ema and Koriniti there are 

about IciU 10 ioO at each place. At Herrj-axema there is a Cathohc mission, consisting of the Rev. 
Fathers S:.,-,!.'.^ ml Marot, two nuns, and a lay sister, Maiia Joseph, long kno\vn in Napier by the 
old re; '-'--ry hospitably entertained me. There is a school here with sixty-four scholars, 

and av . . nee fifty-nine. The Natives possess 2,500 sheep, horses, and cattle, besides 

■"ilou'-hs, i^c. At Ranana, the site of the celebrated fight' at Moutoa, there is also a large flock of 
sheep, ar.d a fine wharepuni, 83ft. by 37it. : this is called Huiiwhenua, and is the arena of the 
labours of Kemp'?; council. 

o "ival at Upokongaro I f;-?cured the services of Mr. Woon, and a meeting took place 

],, y captors and Major Kemp, the result of which I forvviu-ded to you on the 22nd 

!- Te Kuru Kaanga firmly opposed my returning, sayiug they did not want the railway ; 

ii- I and Eauka v. a privately told me to wait, their tongues were tied now, but by-and-by 

thLV ' 

I to Wellington to seek the advice of the Native Minister, and, if possible, get 

1, _ :i and Tawhiao. During my stay in Wellington overtures were made by Kemp 

t^ 1, which resulted in a more amicable understanding with the Govcrmnent, and 

; leHon. the Native Minister and Major Kemp: after which the latter renewed his 

p- ice, and advised my attendance at a large Native meeting at Rauana, and 

orovideU a cruiu,^ and men for my return. The meeting w'as largely attended, and included four or 
live chiefs of Manganui-a-te-Ao, who were con-anced by ?dajor Ke<np of the advantages of railway 
, lion, and agreed to my going on ; but it was considered necessary to take a strong force. 

A . , V, on the 27th September six canoes accompanied me with the following people : From 

llanana— Paora Patapu, Eena (wife), Eruera to Ua, Te Wikirlni, Te Nau, H. N. Walker ; from 
I'iphiki — Kaioroto, Tilaata (wifeV Turawhi, Maliirini, Maehc, Kaawa (wife), Te Rua, Te Heuheu, 

5 D.— 5. 

Te Huia, Te Wliainga, Rameie (wife), Rehana, Te Hoeroa; from Hemrarema — Tohiora, Eeri ; 
fi'om Koriniti— Paori Kmimati, Teake ; from Kaiwhaiki — Matiaka, Tutaua, Te Eon ; from Kukuta — 
HJtkaka, Wikitoria (wife) ; from Manganui-a-te-Ao — Te Peeiii, Peata (wife). 

The Wanganui Eiver closes in at about seven nules up, and from thence to Eanana it is more 
or less gorgy, enclosed by hills some three or four hundred feet high. It is, however, possible to 
get a horse up to Koriniti along a sort of track at the foot of the river-chffs, but no farther, except 
inland ; there are a few low flats, but not of any great extent. At Eanana there is a large clearing, 
perhaps a thousand acres, a good deal of which is in English grass. Between Koriniti and 
Mangauui-a-te-Ao is almost a continuous gorge. Excepting at Eanana, Herorarema, and Pipiriki 
the cliffs frown above one almost perpendicularly, especially between Pipiriki and Manganui-a-te-Ao, 
and the river runs stilly : I am told that for a long distance above Mauganui-a-te-Ao the river has the 
same gorgy character. I remarked no leading valleys coming from the east from Upokongaro to 
Mauganui-a-te-Ao, but many of the side-hiUs have extensive flat terraces on top, and small creeks, 
and doubtless good roads could be graded out, more especially as the hills (mostly ^jopa) are not of 
any great height. 

On ari-iving at Papatupu we were received by about eighty Natives with anj-thing but a friendly 
demonstration, Taumata, Te Kuru, and Te Oeo being the most determiaedly obstructive. The 
korero lasted several days, aud at last ended with the up-river Natives leaving the whare in a body 
and refusing to say or hear any more, and they next morning left Papatupu and went up the river 
seven miles to their principal place — Te Papa. On the following day we followed them up, and, on 
arriving within a couple of miles, sent our messenger (Eaukawa) to them. This man, Raukawa, 
being an up-river Native, was considered a seceder and a spy ; so they decided to shoot him then 
and there. A considerable time, however, elapsed before a man could be found to undertake the 
deed : at last one volunteered, who seized a gun and went towards the door to effect his purpose ; 
but time enough had elapsed to allow for reflection, and several stopped him. Our messenger returned 
early next morning and said he had come on our opponents busy makiag cartridges, but after a 
night's talk they had agreed to meet us. We accordingly went to Te Papa, found a white flag 
flying, and some twenty-five Natives armed, who fired over our heads twice ; and, after tv.-o or three 
days' endeavouring to come to terms, they almost (to use my Native companion's words) forced us 
back at the muzzle of the gun, and I eventually returned to Wanganui and put myself ia communi- 
cation with the Native ^Imister and asked for a few troopers. Mr. Bryce thought it unwise to 
force our way, and directed me to go round to the north end of their district and endeavour to secure 
the fiiendship of Peehi Tm-oa ; but, on retiurning to Eanana, I learned that the obstructionists had 
dispersed and gone to their planting, so I went on with my work and completed to Waimarino 
without any fmther stoppage. Here I found Peehi Tiuroa, although a rank Hauhau, after a little 
talk, not averse to the railway, and ready to help me. About this tiaie I learned that Major Kemp, 
who was to have gone to Taumaranui by canoe before me, liad gone down to Wanganui, summoned 
as a witness in a Court case : so I visited Topia Tm-oa, Matuahu, and Te Heuheu at theii- pas at 
Eotoaira, Tokaano, and Waihi, urging them to send men of influene* to help me at Taumaranui. 
The former contented liimself by sending a telegram to Mr. Brj-ce informing him that he would 
aUow me to go on, but the latter sent two men yrith me. About this time two Maoris arrived from 
Tnhua saying that there were Ivco pov^erful aukatis to stop my further progress, and, besides, a 
dozen mounted Hauhaus patrolling aud waiting for us, averring that they were sm-e to be hung for 
Mofifatfs murder and one or two more v.ould not alter the case. This news so alarmed tha Tanpo 
Natives that it was vrith the utmost difficulty at last I got the promised two to go with u?, but on 
getting within a few miles of Taumaranui they refused to go fm-ther, and returned. I had still some 
other Natives with me, two of whom were of those v.ho engaged determinedly in the arr;ied opposition 
at Mauganui-a-te-Ao : one of these went before me, and at every shght noise he started back on mv 
toes, fearing the mounted patrol. I may here say the Wanganui River above Taumaranui is open 
for seven or eight nules, with five Maori ssttlements ; and Watampmoipu, the fmthest open land op 
the river, where I first came out of the bush from Waimarino, is the scene of a celebrated fight 
between the Patutokotoko (who gave me so much trouble in the Manganui-a-te-Ao) and the Ngati- 
mauiapoto. Tho old pa of the Patutokotoko is on a flat-topped isolated hill, with opan land aJl 
round, except towards Piopiotea, in which direction tlie forest stretches to Waimarino. Dotted 
over the flat below the pa for a mile or more are short posts stuck in the gi-ound ; some ai-e rotted 
and fallen : these mark the spots where the fallen in battle lay or were buried. Tturangatahi and 
Tuhiora were the chiefs of the Patutokotoko, and theii- descendants speak with pride^of having 
beaten back their border enemies. 

To resume : We reached Taumaranui without obstruction, but were received sullenly, without a 
word of welcome. So, as it was raioing, we pitched our tents in the pa, and waited several hours ; 
after w'nich Ngatai and some others arrived and welcomed us. saj-ing he would protect us here, but 
we could get no further as the coimtry was stopped. After a couple of days, in reply to my letters, 
about a dozen men of the aukatis came down, but after a long talk refused permission to go further 
or even send a messenger through then couutiT. They said Wahanui had stopped the country for 
a long time : some of these had been waiting watching the district for the last six months. So I had 
no choice but to return by Tokaano and go round the west side of Taupo to Kihikihi, some 150 
miles. "This I did, and saw P^\>-i and Wahanui, who informed me that Mr. Bi-yce was coming in a 
week's time, and that I must wait till then, when it would be settled satisfactorily. This I did, and 
in the meantime Wahanui seat and brought all the men who had stopped ine out to Kihikihi, 
including the principal in Mofiatt's murder. The meeting which took place was satisfaetoiy in its 
result, ^and I have since completed the exploration; and the last words of Eewi (Manga) were, 
" Tell Mr. Bryce to hasten on the railway : I am an old man now, and I should like to ri'de in the 
railway before I die." ' Johx Rochfost. 

D.— 5. 6 


Mr. G. P. Williams to the Engineee-in-Chief, Wellington. 
SiE,— Public Works Office, Wellington, May, 1884. 

I have the honour to make the following final report upon the proposed trunk line of 
railway from Hastings, on the Welhngton-Napier line, to Te Awamutu, the present terminus of the 
southern line from Auckland. I have completed the reconnaissance survey of the country through 
which such a line would pass, and I attach to this report general plan and sections of the line. 

For the purpose of comparing this route with others that have been proposed for the trunk line 
I have indicated upon the general section the probable lengths of the principal stretches of gradients 
that are as steep or steeper than 1 in 50, and the probable dimensions of any important bridges 
and tunnels. 

The length of the line is estimated at 170 miles. The chief difficulties on the line are in the 
Hawke's Bay portion, between 16 miles and 68 miles. The ranges which lie all along the south 
and east bank of the Mohaka Eiver are a formidable barrier for a line running westwards from 
the coast. The coach-road goes over the Titiokura Hill, which is some 500ft. higher than the 
saddle at the Puketitiri Bush, where the line would go, and which is the only feasible gap in the 
range for railway purposes. The Mohaka cuts the general sloj)e of the country into two, and, after 
the line has dropped down with a sharp descent to its bed, the main watershed has still to' be 
surmounted. To do this the proposed line follows up the Eepia, which runs into the Mohaka, and 
has a good general direction, cutting down deeply through very high and broken country, covered 
with bush. 

The roiite described by Mr. Ellman as being peculiarlj' favom-able for railway pm-poses, an 
account of which appeared in the Hawke's Bay Herald, is only adapted for a road, though it is 
siiggested that it woiild answer equally well for railway purposes. I except the portion up the 
Eepia, where for a great length the difficulties for a railwaj' are probably no greater than they 
would be for the construction of a road. " The long ridge separating the waters of the Manga- 
houhou from those of the Mangaone," along which the present road goes to Patoka Station, rises 
far too steeply for ordinary railway gradients, and falls and rises aga,in without any advantage 
of level being gained ; it is also too narrow and crooked for railwaj^ cur\^es. Further on in the 
account of the route mentioned the line is described as going from the Anawhenua "flats [which 
are really only a few broken terraces] by light cuttings to the south-west bank of the Makahu." 
Now the Anawhenua, before joining the Makahu, enters into a very narrow gorge with steep 
slopes, about f to 1, and several hundred feet high, so that neither a road nor railway could 
follow it down ; and the line must therefore pass over or tunnel through a saddle which rises 
270ft. above the creek at 39i miles on section, while on the other side of the saddle the Mohaka 
Eiver runs about three miles off and 700ft. below it. Yet, in spite of this very rapid descent do\vn 
to the ilohaka, it is stated, in the description of the bridge site at the Mohaka, that "up to 
this point the whole road has been almost a gradual rise." This is misleading, as is also the 
description of the Eepia, which is treated as if it were an ordinary valley, any exceptional 
difficulties being ignored, although for at least eight miles of its length it can only be utilized 
by means of works of the hea^^est description. 

I do not wonder, however, that the Eepia was not fully understood, as I found that no one had 
ever been right through it before I went. For six miles its slopes are covered vrfth dense bush, 
]3rincipally Fagus, and this had prevented any passage between its upper and lower ends, until I had 
a rougli foot-track cut through it ; though there was an old disused Maori track, now grown over, 
which led over the hill-tops out of sight of the gorge. 

I vcill now describe the route wliich is in my opinion tlT) most practicable, x^remising that, on 
account of the great summit-levels to be sm-mouuted, loilg stretches of steep gi'adients are unavoid- 
able, and that, in order to make them as even as possible, certain river-courses must be followed, 
the country generally being much too broken up by confused spurs and gulhes to adroit of gi'ading 
being ciirried out otherwise. After lea^ng Hastings the line passes tlu-ough easy country to the 
crossing of the present channel of the Ngaruroro Eiver, at about 5 miles on section. Tliis river has 
a shingle-bed similar to those in Canterbury, and can be crossed at a height of 15ft. above the bed, 
with seven or eight spans of 40ft., riearlj- opposite Mr. Douelly's house. The line would then strike 
through easy open country, Native laud, to the Tutaikuri Eiver, wliich it would follow up on its 
south bank, and, commencing to rise at a point opposite where the road strikes off to Eissiugton on 
the north bank, it v.-ould continue, without any difficulty but a few small cuttings, up to the terrace 
opposite Scale's homestead, at the junction of the Mangaone with the Tutaikm-i River near 15 miles. 
Now, to reach the Puketitiri Bush the natural course would be to follow up the Tutaikuri to the 
mouth of the Mangatutu, and then all the way up ihe Mangatutu ; but this is inipracticable, as the 
featm'es of the banks of the Tutaikuri arc on too largo a scale, consisting often of impa reef-terraces 
two or three hundred feet in height, intersected by deep ravines, or of steep spm's running down 
from adjacent hills. I propose therefore to follow up the Waihau Creek, whose banks are on a 
smaller scale, from above its junction with the Maugahouhou up to its source ; and, although to 
follow it i;p would involve hea\'y cuttings along its whole distance, yet, by keeping about 100ft. 
above its bed, in ground sloping on an average between 2 to 1 and 3 to 1, a line may be got follo\ring 
generally on the south-west side. The Mangahoul'.on is worse, if anything, and besides by going 
more to the north the line would be approacliing too near- the high country about the Patoka Hill, 
where the gradients would be inadmissible. In order to get to the Waihau from the river junction 
at 15 miles the line must go round one side of Mount Cameron. The Waihau and the Maugahouhou 
after their junction form one stream called the Wai-iti, which flows in a deep broken gorge on the 
north and east of Mount Cameron, and this would be too difficult to follow. I propose therefore to 
keep the hue on the south-west side, and, crossing the Tutaikm-i at a favourable site near 16 miles, 
at a height of about 60ft., to rise on to the terrace on the north bank, making use of the channel of 

7 D.— 5. 

a small creek which has worn down the terrace ; and then, after gi-adiug up through some slopes of 
from 2i to 1 to 2 to 1, to tunnel through some of the precipitous spurs of Mount Cameron, a lime- 
stone hill, and, crossing in one 120ft. span a deep chasm with perpendicular |)(7jjft sides, above the 
Ardlussa Station, to come out on the Ardlussa Downs and strike the Waihau at about 21 miles on 
section. Then, following up the Waihau, as before described, to its source, the line would cut 
tlu-ough the low saddle, where a road has been formed, on the watershed of the Mangatutu, and 
cross that stream at the site indicated on plans at 30J- miles. Then, skirting round behind Groom's 
old station and through another small saddle, the line follows up the Mangatutu Stream, principally 
on its western side, as far as the Puketitiri Bush. As the gi'ade has to be kept high from 31 miles to 
33 miles, the bridges at the crossings would have to be excessively large, so that it is better to keep 
on the one side if possible in limestone-rock cutting. 

From 34 miles to the summit the work will be of a lighter character. The level of the saddle 
in the bush is 2,070ft. There is another way of reaching the Puketitiri Bush shown on plans, viz., 
by recrossing the Mangatutu at 31^ miles, and following up the Mauaroa Creek to its head, from 
which a fairly good line coi;ld be got b)' skirting round some downs and through the Puketitiri 
Bush. The Manaroa is much easier to follow than the Mangatutu, being nearly straight, and having 
sloping sides of 2 or 3 to 1 ; but the gradient would be even worse, and the deviation would make 
an extra length of 2|- miles of line. After leaving the bush (which is mostly on a flat, and contains 
some fine trees of black and white pine, rimu, and a little totara) the hue descends on the right 
bank of the Anawhenua, through fairly good ground for benching, to the saddle at 39i miles, where a 
tunnel 25 chains long is required. As mentioned before, this' creek is blocked in, and escapes thi'ough 
an unpracticable gorge. From the tunnel there will be some very thfficult grading or sideling of from 
1^ to 1 to 3 to 1, in order to drop dow^l to the Mohaka Bridge site at 43 miles 10 chains. This is 
one of the worst portions of the line : it must be kept well up on the hill-side on the left bank at 
about the height above the creek indicated on section. The slopes of the railway banks will require 
rubble-pitching to diminish their length. The Mohaka Bridge site is the same as described in Mr. 
Ellnian's report, and is about 20 chains above some old Maori whares. The banks are about 80ft. 
apart, and the Ime for rail level would be at about 40ft. above the river. Also, abetter gi-ade is got by 
going to this site and back again down the river, with an ascending grade on the north side reaching 
the Eepia by a cutting through a high terrace and some more sideling work. In the Repia the line 
soon enters a deep gorge, and for at least eight miles — viz., from 46 miles to 54 miles — it is necessary 
to cross and recross the stream at an average of five times to the mile. The outer edge of each 
bend is usually perpendicular rock for perhaps a hundred feet, then there is a slope of about i- to 1 
for another hundred feet or two, and above that again from 1 to 1 to 3 to 1 for a total height of say 
a thousand feet, sometinaes nutcli higher. On the inner edge of the bends, which the water does not 
wear into, the slopes arc about 1 to 1, terminating usually at the foot in a flatter spin- of from 2 to 1 
to 3 to 1. By keeping the line at an average of 40ft. or 50ft. above the stream these spurs may 
be cut through or timnelled. Small stretches of flat may occasionally be tttilized, but heavy rock- 
cuttings will be the rule. The bush consists chiefly of Fagus, the so-called black and red birch. 
The line emerges from it at 53 miles and follows the creek to 54 miles, when it begins to rise up to a 
terrace flat, which it reaches at 57 miles and continues along on the sofith-west side of the creek, the 
work being easier as the volume of the stream diminishes, until the smnniit-level of 2,680ft. (or 
about 2,600ft. for fomiation-level) is reached at 64 miles 10 chains. This point is on the watershed 
between Hawke's Bay and the Bay of Plenty, and is a conveniently low saddle above Lake Pouarua, 
whence the Eangitaiki River issues. The line skirts round and through some low pumice downs, 
and drops down on to the open pumice plains at 66i miles, following near the Rangitaiki to the Taupo 
Road, and then in the general direction of the road over the watershed of the Rangitaiki and the 
Waikato Rivers, at a height of 2,445ft., until the small village of Opepe is reached ; then, skirting 
round Mount Tauhara, a contintious grade of 1 in 50 will enable the line to drop down to the 
Waikato, crossing near the Huka Falls. To obtain sufiicient length of line to get a imiform grade, it 
may be necessary, in surveying the line, to skirt round with a wider sweep and with more curves than 
I have indicated on plans, but the country is sufficiently open to admit of this. 

Instead of following up the Repia it was proposed to take the line up the Mohaka to where the 
Taharua runs into it, and then to follow up the Taharua to its head on the open pumice j^lains, as 
shown in Drawing No. 4. I do not think that any advantage would be gained by this route, for the 
following reasons: The banks of the Mohaka are, on the whole, quite as difficult for a line as in the 
Repia, on account of the abrupt spurs froni the Kaweka on the west and from Te Matai and Big Ben 
on the north-east side, which rise precipitously above the river. The length of the line up the 
Mohaka, froiii the proposed bridge-site to the junction of the Taharua, would be about sixteen miles 
of very difficult work ; but in the Repia a distance of fifteen miles from the same point is sufficient to 
take the line out of any difiBculties, excepting the cuttings at the head, at 64 miles. On the other 
hand, after traversing equally difficult ground in the Mohaka for sixteen miles, there are two miles of 
bad ground at the lower end of the Taharua. The bridges in the Mohaka would be at least as nitmerous 
as in the Repia, but larger and much more expensive : on account of the big boulders there would 
be a difliculty in constntcting piers by driving piles, so that a single span of 120ft. would often be 
necessary, instead of one of 60ft. or 80ft., as in the Repia. On accotmt of its larger drainage area the 
floods in the Mohaka are much worse than those in the Eepia, and piers would interfere mtli the 
passage of trees in flood-time. The level of the junction of the Taharua with the Mohaka is 1,935ft., 
and the open watershed at its head 2,475ft., or 200ft. lower than that of the Repia ; so that the 
Taharua gradients would be somewhat better. The total length of the two routes would be about 
the same. 

On arriving at the Waikato River the line might cross in one span of 40ft. above the Huka 
Falls, where the level of the bed of volcanic rock through which the water has cut a channel is 
1,110ft. ; the line would then have to bench up the terraces on north-west bank, but, as these are 

i).— 5. ^ 

here very steex? and broken, I have shown the hue descending on the south-east bank on the skew with 
the river, in sideHng of 2 or 3 to 1, principally pumice, and about half a mile further do^Mi the river, 
and then crossing, with two bridges of 60ft. and 100ft. s^Jan, at a height of 70ft. above the river ; at 
this site there is an island about eight chains in length, and there is just room for a reverse curve ; 
the line would then rise in cuttings up to the terrace at So miles, near the junction of the Wairakei 
Creek but above it, on its south-west bank. A detailed survey, ^^ith cross sections, will be required 
to fix wliich of the two modes of crossing would be the cheaper. 

At Wairakei there will be some bad ground for working in near the hot springs, but I think the 
line can be kept above the worst i^ortion, and the creek followed to its head near the crossing of the 
Main North Eoad, about 30 chains beyond wliicli is a small watershed near Oruanui, where some 
heavy cutting will be required in volcanic rock. 

In descending to the Ongarahu there is a long dry gully, which may be made use of to assist 
the cutting ; and I think on reaching near the mouth of this the line should bend round sharply to 
the left (possibly requiring a few chains of tunnel through a rocky spur), and then grade down to 
the bed of the Ongarahu through some gently-sloping ground. The Ongarahu may be easily 
followed to near Pukemoremore, the banks being low, and its course being through a tolerably open 
valley, consisting of shallow swamps and low hillocks of pumice. At 107 miles a low ridge at the 
foot of Pukemoremore divides the Ongarahu from the Waipapa Creek, and here a choice of two 
routes can be made. I will first mention the one marked on plans and section as " Deviation." Tlris 
line would follow down the Waipapa Creek to the Waikato River, where an expensive bridge, of 
probably 200ft. span, would be required; but after crossing the river it may be followed down on 
its right bank for fourteen miles, without any very heavy work, on terrace fiats, which are not inter- 
sected by any very bad gullies. From 121 miles to 122 miles, on " de-\T[ation," the spurs from 
Whakamaru rise abruptly over the river, but with occasional rock-cuttings there is room to get 
round them, and the terrace flats open out again for a ■\\-idth of a quarter of a mile, and present no 
difficulty up to 129 miles on deviation near the Kopokorahi Stream, after which there w-ould be some 
heavy cutting in sideling. Besides the bridge being probably costly, the objection to the deviation 
would be that it is three miles longer than the line as laid down on maps. 

The line as laid down on plans, instead of branching down the Waipapa at 107-^- miles, crosses 
the Waipapa Creek at the junction of two small streams, and rises with moderate gradients in the 
direction of the Waipapa Bush, as far as about 112 miles, through some swamps of no great depth, 
and among hillocks of from 50ft. to 150ft. high covered wnth poor tussock grass. There are several 
good patches of bush in this locality growing on higli flats and ridges, the position of which is 
marked upon the plans ; they contain a large proportion of totara trees, and there is a noticeable 
improvement in the soil where the bush is ; there is less depth of pumice, which has probably been 
washed down at some period hito the lower-lying lands. At 112 miles the line bends sharply to the 
left, still rising towards the saddle at a break in the liills called Ngatakurua, at about 113 miles. 
Through this pass the Maori track leads to Kihikihi. The line would then descend quickly to the 
Potangotango Creek, and down the banks of it to near the Whakakaho, a very prominent hill with 
broken angular outlines. In following this creek some heavy cuttings would be necessary, principally 
in pumice, and the lino should be kept at about 40ft. above the creek, utihzing occasional terraces. 
At 121 miles, at a level of about 750ft., the line leaves the creek and slopes with a more gentle 
descent to the Mangakino Creek, which contains a considerable volume of v.-ater, but may be crossed 
with two spans, of a total length of 120ft., at a height of about 100ft. above the water, and at about 
10 chains from the junction of the Waikato Eiver. 

On my first journey through this country I kept entirely on the western side of the Waikato, 
with a view of seeing if a line could be got without crossing and recrossing that river. I found the 
gi-ound pretty fair as far as the next big creek (also called Waipapa), but beyond this there is a 
narrow range or ridge rising abruptly some 500ft. above that creek, and called Moetahanga : it 
reaches down to the Waikato ; and further on there is a higher range, of wliich the principal hill is 
called Wharepuhunga. This whole range is covered with bush, and extends down to the Waikato. 
On its northern slopes it is intersected by deep ravines, especially one called the Waipare. The 
difficulties caused by these obstructions would be too great for the location of a line entirely on the 
western side of the Waikato ; so that I propose to follow the Wadcato River closely on its right or 
eastern bank, crossing over to it at about 127 miles, at the spot shown on plans. The river here 
goes over a fall of about 15ft., and above this again there are several rapids. I think the river can 
be crossed just above the fall by a bridge of 160ft. in length, and that a pier could be built into the 
rocky bed of the river in order to divide the bridge into two spans. 

The country on the eastern side now consists of liigh fern downs broken up by volcanic action, 
and unsuitable for a line ; but the watershed on these downs runs nearly parallel with the river 
and only a few miles back from it, and the water reaches the Waikato, from the eastern side of 
this ridge, only by running northwards for some miles beyond the Waotu. Consequently there are 
few stream-channels intersecting the eastern bank of the river, which consists iisually of a cliff of 
volcanic rock about 100ft. high, with a slope of about 2 to 1 of loose rock and pumice below the 
cliff; or else a terrace-flat, at a height of about 20ft. to 80ft. above the river, is to be found at the foot 
of the clifl'. There are several spurs of volcanic rock which would probably require short tunnels, 
not exceeding, I think, a total of 40 chains in length. There would be a good deal of heavy rock- 
cutting in places, but the ground would be all solid and free from slips, and the long stretches of 
narrow flats would allow the cost of the work on this portion to be reduced to an ordinary average. 
Near the Waotu the hills rise to a considerable height at a mile from the river, but the flats on the 
river-bank below are well adapted for a line. 

I think the river can be recrossed by one span of 160ft. at a point about a mile and a half above the 
old pa opposite Mangere Creek. There is a small island on the west side of the river, just above site 
of bridge. The line would commence to rise after crossing the river, and, cutting into the slopes of 
the rising ground at the edge of the river-flats, it might be some 80ft. or 90ft. above the river at the 

9 D.— 5. 

mouth of the Mangere — a small creek with a deeply-cut bed, which should be followed up so far as 
it would serve to take the place of cutting. There is a flat, with some large swamps in it,"estending 
for a mile or two back from the river on this side, and about 200ft. above it. A small ridge west of 
this flat forms the watershed between the Waikato and the Puniu, and the saddle is only 300ft. 
above the former river. From the saddle some careful laying-out will be required for two miles, in 
order to locate the line among some gullies at the head of the Wairaka Creek, which can afterwards 
be followed without difficulty from 152 miles to its junction with the Puniu at about 157| miles. 
There are some small swamps to cross, but they can easily be drained. The southern side of the 
valley is, on the whole, the Ijetter one. Below the junction with the Puniu I should prefer to keep 
on the northern side, but a few crossings are unavoidable. This river has a shingle-bed, and flows 
with a moderate fall through a fine open valley well adapted for a line ; and the soil is a rich loam. 
The line would leave the bank of the river near 167 miles, and, rising for about three miles through 
some undulating downs, would reach the Te Awamutu terminus at 170 miles. 

With regard to the capabilities of the country generally for supporting a line passing through 
it, I am afi-aid I cannot speak favourably. For the first sixteen miles the line passes through good 
agricultural country ; but it is already fairly well served with roads leading to the railway to 
Napier. I think it probable that a branch line so far would be a success. For the next ten miles 
the country is so broken that only a small proportion of it can be considered agricultural land ; and 
beyond this to 66 miles the line passes for forty miles through very rough country, which is coated 
frequently with pumice, and will apparently only bear very thin stocking. The line will open up 
about 120,000 acres of similar country belonging to the Crown in Hawke's Bay. For the next 
eighty miles the line passes through purely pumice country, which is so sterile that sheep will not 
thrive on it, and it is doubtful whether it is capable of being put to any profitable use. Afterwards 
for ten miles the country would take grass with surface-sowing ; and the last fifteen miles of line 
run through good agricultural country. 

In examining the Maori country between Taupo and Te Awamutu, and west of Lake Taupo, I 
found that the work occupied twice as much time as it should have done, owing to the dilatory 
habits of the Natives and the difficulty of moving about anywhere without constant long talks 
with them. The country west of the Waikato being unsurveyed, I was obliged to employ Maoris as 
guides. Although several times ordered to go back, I managed to prosecute my work without any 
active resistance ; and found that the letters with which I was provided from the Hon. Mr. Bryce 
to the different chiefs were always received with great respect. 

With regard to a possible combination of the Waikato line with a central route from the 
Wanganui District, I found, on travelling inland round the west side of Lake Taupo, that the country 
between the Hurakia Eange and the lake consists of high flats, terminating in precipitous cliffs 
from 100ft. to 300ft. high ; and the country is intersected with enormous ravines, the creek-beds in 
which are about 600ft. below the average level of the country, and consequently no practicable line 
could be got for railway purposes. Along the eastern side of the lake, however, a capital beach 
line could be constructed at moderate cost, partly by low embankment through shallow swamps, 
and partly in shallow water under the pumice clifi's, but nowhere meeting with any great difficulty. 
A good line could be got down the Upper Waikato Eiver from Lake Eotoaira, which is at a level of 
1,900ft., and round the southern shore of this lake, to join with any practicable Hne from the south. 

In order to fix my position by compass bearings I had to ascend several hills which wore 
hitherto ta2}u, and had not been ascended by any European — notably the remarkable hill called 
" Titiraupenga," the northern smimiit of the Hurakia Eange : its height is 3,450ft. 

I have calculated all the levels given herein from barometrical observations carefully taken, 
and, in most cases, checked by repeated observations, and they were all corrected by simultaneous 
observations taken at stations of well-ascertained levels. Wherever possible the levels were referred 
to the calculated heights of trig, stations. 

In concluding my report, I am glad to have the opportunity of thanking Mr. Horace Baker, 
Chief Surveyor of Hawke's Bay, for his kind assistance, as well as the several station-owners along 
the line of my route. My thanks are also due to Major Scannell, in command of the Armed Con- 
stabulary at Taupo, and to the two Maori chiefs, Hitiri Paerata and Eewi, or Manga, of the 

An approximate estimate of the cost of this line of railway, including formation, rails, 
rolling-stock, and stations, amounts to £1,200,000. The cost of land is not included in this estimate, 

I have, &c.. 

The Engineer-in-Chief, Wellington. George Phipps Williams, M.Inst.G.E. 

2— D. 5. 

D.— 5. 10 


Mr. E. W. Holmes to the Engineee-in-Chief, Wellingtou. 

SiE,— New Plymouth, 26th May, 1884. 

I havo the honour to report as follows on the proposed line of railway between Stratford 
and its junction v.ith Mr. Eochfort's line (known as the central route), about six miles to the north 
of Te Uira. To Uira is a small Native settlement about four miles in an easterly direction from Te 
Kuiti, and about thirty miles to the south of Te Awamutu. 

Starting from Sti-atlord, the line runs through flat country as far as the Toko Eiver, about seven 
and a half miles. There is a descent of about 400ft., owing to Stratford being situated on the slope of 
Mount Egmont : this gives a general grade of 1 in 99, but, owing to sundry depressions, 1 in 50 will 
probably be required for short distances, making the balance flatter. Between 7^ and 10 miles the 
line passes over a low ridge which separates the Toko and Makuri Elvers : 1 in 66 or a flatter 
grade can be employed here. At 3^ miles the Kakouri Eiver is crossed. 

Before proceeding further, I wish to draw your attention to the position of Stratford with 
regard to the general direction of the [,line beyond 10 miles. It will be seen that the line takes a 
large bend at 10 miles, Stratford being situated too far to the north, so that a more suitable position 
for the junction station would be about two miles south of Ngaire, whore a good station-site can be 
obtained. Tliis would save about six miles on the through line between Wellington and Auckland, 
though the actual length to be constructed would be the same ; it would also save a considerable 
portion of the rise aud fall to and from Stratfor.;!. I have not been over the country between Ngaire 
and 10 miles, so I cannot say that the alteration would save any expense. I am nearly certain the 
line could be constructed this way, so I draw your attention to the direction, as I consider it quite 
worth running a trial line through. 

The line from 10 to 12J miles follows up the Makuri Valley ; grades nearly level, and cross 
section flat. The construction from Stratford to this point will be very easy. 

At 12f miles the line coumiences to ascend with & 1 in 66 grade to 14^ miles, where the ridge 
between the Makuri and Mangaotuku Elvers is passed through with a tunnel 10 chains in ength. 
The line then descends to 16 miles with a 1 in 66 grade. The work of construction, with the excep- 
tion of tunnel, will be moderate. The tunnel at this place could be dispensed with by running long 
grades of 1 in 50 and rising to top of ridge, thereby lengthening the sideling work about a mile on 
each side, maldng the works over cross gulhes very much heavier, probably costing more, and rising 
an unnecessary height of about 130ft. 

From 16 to 28 miles the hue follows up the Mangaotuku Valley ; cross section flat, grades easy, 
and work of construction light. The creek might have to be bridged in a few places to straighten 
the line. 

Between 28 and 32 miles the line ascends with a 1 in 66 grade, passes through a ridge with 
5 chains in length of tunnel, and descends to the Makatiu Valley vnth a 1 in 66 grade. A tunnel is 
shown here for similar reasons to preceding one. The work of construction along sidings will be 

From 32 to 34 miles the line follows down the Makatiu and up the Pohokura Valley ; cross 
section level, and construction easy. 

From 34 to 35i miles the line rises with 1 in 50 grade to a tunnel 16 chains long, through 
the Patea-Wanganui watershed. Tliis tunnel cuts 300ft. off ridge, and is actually necessary. It 
then descends with a grade of 1 in 66 to 39 miles. This grade is shown 1 in 66 on section, but it 
might be found advisable to employ a 1 in 50 grade to lessen cost of construction. 

From 34 to 39 miles the construction-works will be heavy, principally on account of steep 
cross section and deep cross gulUes. 

Between 31 and 36 miles an alternative line was explored to endeavour to shorten the distance, 
and save fall and rise ; but it would require an additional 25 chains of tunnel, and much heavier work 
throughout, and is altogether impracticable. 

From 39 to 42i miles the line follows up the Wangamomona Valley : cross section level, and 
construction-works easy. The "Wangamomona will probably require crossing a few times to 
straighten line. 

From 42i miles the line rises with a 1 in 50 grade to 44i miles : this grade may probably be 
eased. At 44i miles a short tunnel 4 chains in length is required, but it may be found advisable to 
lengthen it to ease work on the preceding grade. 

Between 44^ and 45i miles the line runs along sideling ground without cross spurs — grade level ; 
then through a 6-chain length of tunnel. Falling then to 46f miles, with a 1 in 66 grade (but a 1 in 
50 grade may possibly be required), the line runs level along sideling to 47f miles ; work moderate. 
From 47-J- to 50J miles the line rises with a 1 in 50 grade to a tunnel 5 chains in length through a 
ridge, and falls with another 1 in 50 grade into the Waingangara Valley. This portion will require 
rather heavy construction-works. It then continues down the Waingarara Valley, with easy grades 
and work, to its junction with the Tangarakau at 51 miles. 

From Stratford to about 12 miles the character of the country is flat, being on the slope 
of Mount Egmont, and consisting of volcanic earths. The rivers are very rapid, with boulder-beds, 
with a low terrace on each side, forming the river valley. At about 12 miles the character of the 
country changes altogether, the volcanic earths giving place to jJO'P'^ rock and clay liable to shps in 
places : the rivers, after a rapid descent for a short distance from their sources, run very slowly, the 
fall in them being by short rapids or low falls, with long reaches of comparatively still water 
between. The valleys are narrow at bottom, and are formed by ranges of lulls with sharp ridges, 
ranging in height from 300ft. to SOOfc. above the valleys : this style of country continues to the 
Tangarakau Eiver, at 51 miles. 

11 D.— 5. 

From 51 to 67} miles the line continues up the Tangarakau Gorge with an easy grade, a con- 
.siderable distance being saved by cutting off two long bends by passing over low saddles, as shown 
on section. On each side of the Tangarakau Eiver there are from 2 to 10 chains of easy sideling 
ground, then a perpendicular chff of about 300 feet in height of ^0;pa rock, and sideling ground up to 
aj height varying from 600ft. to 1,000ft. above river. The tops of the ridges are generally 
covered with black-birch, alllFagus fusca, with good barrels. The piece of comparatively-flat ground 
along base of cliffs will enable the Hue to be constructed without exceptional work or sharp curves. 
It will be necessary to bridge the river in three, and possibly in five, places. 

At 57 1- miles the line commences to ascend by a 1 in 50 grade to 59-| miles, and then by a flatter 
grade to the saddle in the Tangarakau Eange at 60J miles. 

At 57^- miles the line enters a small creek-gorge, which rises rapidly to 59^ miles, the sides being 
very steep, which will make the work heavy. 

From 59^ to 60J- miles the creek runs slowly, the sides being much flatter, and the work of 
construction will consequently be very much easier. In consequence of the creek falling so slowly 
at the top, it will be impossible to cut off any more of the rise than can be done by a cutting. 

From 60-|- to 63f miles the descent into the Eao Valley occurs by a 1 in 50 grade. The work of 
onstruction along this grade will be very heavy. 

From 63f to 66i miles the line passes up the Eao Valley with easy gi-ades and work to a saddle 
at the head of the Mahorahora ; it then descends by a 1 in 50 grade, with moderate work, to the 
Mangaroa Valley at 68f miles (this grade may probably be flattened) ; then up the Mangaroa Valley 
to 72 miles ; then crossing into the Ohura Valley on a very low saddle with an easy grade ; then up 
the Ohura and Waikaka valleys to 85 miles with easy grades. The work of construction to 81 miles 
will be easy, then to 83 miles it will be a little heavier, and from 83 to 85 miles it will be heavy, 
requiring a short tunnel at 84 miles to cut ofi' a bend in the river. Betv/een 85 and 87J miles the 
ascent to the saddle in the Wanganui-Mokau watershed is made by a 1 in 50 grade, the work of 
construction being moderate. 

From 87J to 91|- mUes the line descends by a 1 in 50 grade. The work of construction along 
this gi-ade will be very heavy, including one tunnel 10 chains long through a cross spur : in fact, I 
consider this the worst portion of the whole line. 

Before proceeding further, I might state that, from a view I had of the country, I tloink the 
the line between 63 and 71 miles may be straightened considerably. I was unable to examine this 
part as thoroughly as I wished, on account of provisions running short. 

From 91i to 93} miles the line passes over open flat country, the construction-works required 
being easy. 

Between 94} and 97J miles the line rises by a 1 in 50 grade, and descends by a 1 in 55 grade 
to cross the low hills between the Mokau-iti and Mokau rivers ; work moderate. 

From 97i to 109|- miles the line runs up the Mokau Valley, with flat gi-ades and easy work, the 
large bends in the river being cut off by passing over saddles in the low hills in the valley. 

Between 109i and 112 miles the line descends by a 1 in 50 grade into the Mangapu Valley. 
Two lines for this grade are shown on the plan, as a trial line must be run on both to decide which 
is the better. The work on both will be very heavy on account of steep sidehngs, cross gulhes, and 

From 112 to 123 miles the line follows down the Mangapu Valley to Mr. Eochfort's line near 
the confluence of the Mangapu and Mangaokewa creeks ; work easy. 

The Tangarakau Eange, which is crossed by the line at 60| miles, extends from thence in a 
northerly and south-westerly direction, the country towards the east being a great deal lov>er than 
that towards the west. The country on east side consists of valleys varying in Avidth from 20 to 
100 chains, with low hills on each side varying in height from 200ft. to about 400ft. ; while the 
Tangarakau Eange stands out like a wall, the top being very straight, with very few peaks, and 
reaches an extreme elevation of about 1,100ft. above the Ohura Valley. The valleys narrow in 
again at about 88 miles, near where the line commences to ascend to the saddle in a branch of the 
Tangarakau Eange, which forms the Mokau-Wanganui watershed, and continues narrow to 90 
miles, there being no flat land in them : the hills on each side are very steep. 

At 90 mUes the hue is in open country, comparatively flat, which is drained by the Hinoteko, a 
tributary of the Mokau-iti : both these rivers are crossed at about 94 uules, they being situated 
very close together. From there to 100 miles, in crossing from the Mokau-iti to the Mokau, the 
country is rather broken. 

From 100 miles to Te Awanuitu the valleys are altogether wider, and covered (with very few 
exceptions) with dense fern. At 94 miles the line enters the limestone country. This stone will 
form a suitable material for building culverts, as slabs varying in thickness from 1 to 6 inches can 
be obtained without any quarrying or dressing, which vv^ould suit well for the floors and roofs of 9in. 
to ISin. drains. 

The Wairere Falls, in the Mokau Eiver, near 98 miles, are formed by a mass of stone of the 
same description as. that in the hills round Wellington : this is covered above the river-level with a 
cap of limestone horizontally stratified. 

A seam of coal, about 5ft. thick, is exposed to view on each side of the Tangarakau Eiver at 
55 miles, and is similar in character to that now being worked about twenty-four miles from the 
sea up the Mokau Eiver. 

The maximum length of the bridge required to cross any of the rivers, on the square, will be 
80ft., with the usual end-spans according to height of approaches. 

Before finally adopting tliis line, I consider it advisable to explore the country to find whether 
a line could be run from 42 miles in an easterly direction to the Eao, and up that river until 
the line already explored is reached : this would avoid the rough and valueless country in the Tanga- 
rakau Gorge, and would open more effectively the good country said to exist in the lower part of the 

D.-5. 12 

Eao Valley. This line was not examined because time was short, and, having found a practicable^ 
route, I did not consider it advisable to waste time and money in trjing to improve the Ime already 
obtained, as it could be done to better advantage while running the trial line. 

From 61 to 74 miles an alternative line was explored as shown on plan, which is not an 
improvement, as it runs out of the direction, and lengthens the line, and is no saving in cost. 

A line was also explored from 77 miles up the Ohura Valley, across a very low saddle, 
to join Mr. Eochfort's line in the Ongaruhe Valley. The grades would be easy to the saddle ; from 
thence a drop of 200ft. occm-s, which would require a 1 in 50 grade. At 87 miles this 
alternative Une enters the pumice-stone coimtry, which extends the remainder of the distance, 
viz., to 123 miles, where the hne, as described, would join Mr. Eochfort's, at a distance of 25 miles 
from Te Awamutu. The construction- works required would be moderate over a considerable length 
of the line, but very costly over other portions ; the formation averaging probably a little over 
£4,000, and this with rails, rolling-stock, stations, &c., added, would amount to a total of about 
£7,000 per mile, not including cost of land. 

I have, &c., 

E. W. Holmes, 

The Engineer-in-Chief, Wellington. . Eesident Engineer. 

By Authority: Geoege Didsbcey, Government Printer Wellington. — 1884. 


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