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2 single sheets of paper, 26 x 16.5cm
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[Note, photocopy, rectangular white paper with black typed print and handwriting.]

[Note reads]

20 Glenbervie Terrace, Thorndon, Wellington

12 June 1992



The Ngatiawa Bridge was designed by the Public Works Department. On 16 October 1911 the Department "entrusted" the sum of 250—0—0 to the Horowhenua County Council for expenditure on the bridge. The plans are undated, but the Public Works Department sent them to the Council on 9 January 1912.

The trusses of the bridge are of the modified "Howe" type, characterised by the diagonal web members being in compression and therefore in timber. The design is based on patents taken out by an American engineer William Howe in 1840. Howe (1803—1852) made significant improvements in truss design, and during the second half of the 19th century Howe—type trusses were the most commonly used structural form for bridges in America. Many were built in Australia and New Zealand, and although once very common here, most have been replaced.


It was resolved at a meeting of the Horowhenua County Council on 9 March 1912 that 'Tenders be called immediatly for the construction of the Ngatiawa Bridge to be in by next meeting".

At that time, the centre line of the Ngatiawa River marked a part of the boundary between the Horowhenua County to the westand Hutt County to the east. The estimated cost of the proposed bridge was 750—0—0, and the two counties conferred on how the balance of the cost, after deduction of the Public Works grant of 250—0—0, would be allocated. It was decided that "each council should appoint a delegate and that the delegates should meet on the ground and if they fail to agree on the sum to be paid by each council towards the cost of the bridge they shall appoint a referee, the decision of the delegates and referee shall be binding on both councils". Mr Galloway forn the Hutt County (who spent 2 days investigating the bridge and site) and Mr Richards for Horowhenua agreed that the Hutt County should pay 200—0—0 and Horowhenua 300—0—0, or in the same proportion should the bridge cost more. This agreement was reached on 16 April.

[Page 2]

The tender of Norman Campbell, in the sum of 745—6—8d was accepted on 13 April 1912.

The date of the completion of the bridge is sometime in mid—1913, possibly 5 June. Contract payments were made in September, October and December 1912, and April and June 1913.

There were problems during the course of the work. On 8 February 1913 the Horowhenua County Council resolved "That Mr Norman Campbell be notified that unless the erection of the Ngatiawa Bridge is proceeded with to the satisfaction of the County Engineers within 7 days of this date the contract will be determined..." Some 14 months is a long period for the construction of such a bridge.

D Robertson and Co Ltd, engineers in Old Customhouse Street, Wellington, had supplied bolts, truss rods, plates etc to the value of 73—12—7 for the bridge. Their account of 1 May 1913 (detailing materials supplied as early as 23 September 1912) was unpaid and Young and Tripe, barristers and solicitors, commenced proceedings against Campbell.

"Robertson and Co of Wellington gives notice it claims under part 3 of the Wages and Protection and Contractors Liens Act 1908 a charge on money payable by you (the Horowhenua County Council) to Norman Campbell of Waikanae, Sawmiller..."

This notice is dated 9 May 1909, Campbell was summoned to the Magistrates Court on 10 July 1913 at 10.30am to answer the demand of 73—12—7 — "Herein fail not"

(Is this something that could be followed up in court records Geoff?There is a reference number Plaint 2880.)

Other material suppliers included :

Millars West Australian Hardwoods Co Ltd

W A Chote for Golden by Cement
72 bags 14—11—8, 19 September
72 bags 14—17—0, 1 October 1912

Waikanae Co—op Store Ltd
Gelignite, nails etc, 7—14—2, 1 October 1912

Research by Joan Cochran at National Archives, Alexander Turnbull Library, and in the records of the Horowhenua and Hutt County Councils.

(Who was G W von Zedlitz? Sometime in 1912 he wanted a refund from the Hutt County Council of 1—10—0 the cost of burying a dead horse).

[Ruth Wright Collection]
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Notes, History of the Ngatiawa BridgeNotes, History of the Ngatiawa Bridge
Notes, History of the Ngatiawa BridgeNotes, History of the Ngatiawa Bridge