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Gavin McLean

Gavin McLean

Gavin McLean is a senior historian at the History group of the Ministry for Culture and Heritage, for whom he co-edited Frontier of Dreams, a guide to local history and a history of our Governors and Governors-General and is currently finishing a co-written history of quarantine and is researching a history of the Prime Ministership.  An Otago PhD graduate, he has written extensively on aspects of the province’s past, as well as on New Zealand business and transport history. His recent publications include Kiwitown's Port: The Story of Oamaru Harbour (2008), The Penguin Book of New Zealanders at War (co-edited with Ian McGibbon, 2009) and A Voice for Shipping: The New Zealand Shipping Federation Story (2009). Last week John Key opened his exhibition at the New Zealand Portrait Gallery, ‘The Cabinet Makers: New Zealand’s Prime Ministers.’

Paper: There's Naught to Fear for the Port of Oamaru

Abstract: Because the sea was the main highway for New Zealand’s colonial towns, aspiring centres that lacked natural harbours had to build artificial ports. Oamaru faced severe financial and engineering challenges, but with the aid of ‘Moa’, the largest full-slewing rail-mounted travelling steam crane in the world, it completed its breakwater in 1884, offering safe berthage for UK-trade meat ships. The port saw its last ship in 1974, just ahead of the container age, bequeathing us the country’s best-preserved Victorian/Edwardian harbour: a concrete breakwater, completed in 1884, three concrete wharves completed between 1875 and 1879, and two wooden wharves completed in 1884 and 1907 respectively. This paper examines the history of the port and its engineering legacy.

Keynotes
Sir Neil Cossons
Paul Davies
David Dolan
Wayne Johnson
Euan McQueen
Robert McWilliam
Duncan Waterson
Authors
David Beauchamp
Trevor Butler
Matthew Churchward
Andrew Cleland
Rachael Egerton
John Fitzmaurice
Don Fraser
John Gibson
Owen Graham
David Hamilton
Bill Harvey
Peter Holmes
Kevin Jones
Paul Mahoney
Tom Williamson
Peter Lowe
Peter Marquis-Kyle
Gavin McLean
Rob Merrifield
Owen Peake
Miles Pierce
John Porter
Nigel Ridgway
Tony Silke
Jim Staton
Richard Venus
Ian Walsh
Daniel Woo
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