Episode 1 - Construction
About the show
Prime Presents: Making New Zealand – Construction is a documentary about how the built environment of New Zealand developed into what we see today.
New Zealand was a blank canvas for both Māori and the first Europeans. When Samuel Marsden established the first European settlement in the Bay of Islands, the first missionaries lived in traditional Māori raupo whare. Soon after, as imports and home-grown skills would allow, they moved into more permanent dwellings.
The early settlers brought with them the hopes and dreams of what they imagined the new world would be like, and they went about building towns and cities and civilisation with the knowledge they had. New Zealand has its own unique environment; natural resources, earthquakes and wind were not at first taken into account.
There was no real regulation of the industry until the 1931 earthquake flattened most of Napier and Hastings and a building code was established.