Third Volume

May 24, 2023 by Keith Mexsom

The third volume of Auckland’s transport history identifies individual members of the Road Gang and its contribution to the supremacy of the motor vehicle and road transport from the 1890s to the present day.

In order to adequately describe the full extent of the Road Gang’s activities and influence, part of the story has become very much a national one, extending far beyond the Auckland isthmus.

For that reason, the completion of this third and final volume has taken a little longer than expected. Regardless of what research has been undertaken, there is always just another golden thread of interest to follow -- sometimes of value to the story and sometimes not.

An example of value includes the tale of one of the first to construct a gasoline-powered motor car from his own design in New Zealand -- Christchurch mechanical engineer, F R Denniston, who drove his creation from Christchurch to Oamaru in July 1900. Described by the Nelson Evening Mail at the time as “only roughly built”, Mr Denniston’s car was nevertheless the forerunner of the tens of thousands to be assembled in New Zealand over many decades.

Although the history of transport rolls on to the future, my story must eventually come to an end and it will, sometime this year, so watch this space...