Image Eketahuna

TLF ID R1781

This is a photograph of the township of Eketahuna, New Zealand. In the foreground, a new road curves off into the distance and two men stand midway along it. In the background, the tiny township can be seen among the remains of cleared forest. The photograph was taken in about 1877 by James Bragge (c1833-1908) on one of his trips to the Wairarapa, north of Wellington, and was published in an album titled 'Wellington to the Wairarapa'.

Educational details

Educational value
  • This asset suggests that it would have been difficult for immigrants to clear New Zealand bush in the 1800s - Eketahuna was situated in an area known as Seventy-Mile Bush, a tract of dense forest about 40 miles (64 kilometres) wide and 70 miles (112 kilometres) long, which the government wanted to clear to establish farming and a railway.
  • It shows a settlement that was founded by Scandinavians (the men standing on the road are probably of Scandinavian origin) - the government advertised in Scandinavia for settlers to come and clear the forest, as it was thought they would have experience in bush clearing since parts of their lands were also densely forested.
  • It shows how harsh the conditions were for settlers in this area in the late 1800s - many of the Scandinavian settlers were appalled by what they found in New Zealand but had little or no money to return home.
  • It is a typical example of the skill of James Bragge in recording landscapes - unlike many photographers of his time, Bragge did not confine himself to the studio.

Other details

  • Content provider
  • Copyright holder
  • Organisation: Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
  • Remarks: Reproduced courtesy of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
  • Author
  • Name: James Bragge
  • Remarks: photographer
  • Publisher
  • Date of contribution: 27 Aug 2013
  • Organisation: Education Services Australia
  • Address: Melbourne VIC 3000 Australia
  • URL:
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Learning resource type
  • Image
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  • © Education Services Australia Ltd and Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, 2013, except where indicated under Acknowledgements