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Jones, Les
The history of port development in New Zealand
16th Engineering Heritage Australia Conference: Conserving Our Heritage - Make a Difference!
Engineers Australia, Barton, Australian Capital Territory, 2011, pp. 140-155

Initially whalers and sealers sought and found sheltered harbours around the vast coastline of New Zealand. Gradually these areas were settled but as roads were nonexistent the only means of travel and communication was by ship. This paper examines the history of New Zealand ports as used by Europeans. Ports had to be developed, even those offering little deep water or with very dangerous bars at the entrance. Shallow draft ships were designed to reach the head of shallow harbours and to travel up rivers. For some settlements, no natural harbours existed and breakwaters had to be built; in other cases dredges were built on site. Subsequently, as roads were developed, the ports were rationalised, with the more dangerous ports and those that were not associated with areas of fertile land, eventually closed to shipping.

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