Auckland In 1960 - Video


Happy Anniversary Day!

Here’s a fascinating newsreel clip about Auckland in 1960.

Among the gems:

  • Auckland  feels like a city of “restless energy”
  • Auckland is growing more impressive
  • Getting rid of trams has left “clear streets where traffic can be regulated easily”
  • A “vigorous” car parking building programme is taking cars off the streets and bringing business back to the CBD
  • One inner city car parking building is equivalent to 17 miles of kerbside parking
  • To carry fast traffic in a city as big as Auckland, a vast and audacious motorway plan is necessary. When completed, traffic may travel at 50mph in any direction
  • Auckland is “half rooftops, half trees.  Aucklanders have learnt much from the foresight of early planners and 10 per cent of newly developed areas will be reserve”
  • That dreadful Stalinesque Bledisloe government department building in Wellesley St behind Sky City Movies is called a “magnificent striking building with clean lines and an interesting facade.”
  • When the civic centre scheme is done (adding the Auckland City and Police stations to Bledisloe), Auckland will have an open space flanked by tall graceful buildings that any city would be proud,”
  • The railways department is rushing ahead the largest NZ marshalling yards - 10 miles of track that will handle 2m tons of goods are year. Stations  and good sheds are trying to keep up as the 27 miles of industrial area expands like a bomblast
  • The harbour bridge has turned out to be a bigger success than anyone dreamed. The 3 millionth vehicle drove over the bridge after 8 months of opening.
  • A new town the size of Whangarei goes up in Auckland every 12 months.
  • You get infected with the size of growth everywhere you look.
  • The post office expects its Auckland telephone subscribers to top 100,000 by 1964.

You can watch the 12 minute video here




  1. Willuknight says:

    i think there was all of one mention of public transport (buses) in entire of that video.

  2. Jon C says:

    @WilluKnight Like your avatar, Yes this was the era when Auckland wanted to be a mini Los Angeles and became a city of cars.We have never recovered.

  3. Matt L says:

    Oh how we wish we could go back and shake the stupidity out of them.

  4. Su Yin says:

    Great find, Jon! Enjoyed it muchly

    Get the DeLorean, I’m coming with you Matt L.

  5. Richard says:

    A couple of years after this I was working at the then Ak Regional Planning Authority and the De Lieuw Cather (not sure of the spelling} report was presented.

    It was recommended the ferries to all the old terminals be reinstated (still not done fully) some motorways be built and the suburban trains be electrified and extended. The petrol heads we had in authority, and have had since with the exception of Robbie, went ahead with the motorway and ignored the rest.

    If you are not going to take the advice of experts why engage them?? This happens time and again in this country.

  6. Commuter says:

    Ah those dear old Leyland buses; entering and exiting them was just like climbing Everest. And I see it’s on my favourite no 6 (Avondale) route, one of the ones you caught when the trolley buses weren’t running.

  7. Ingolfson says:

    “If you are not going to take the advice of experts why engage them??”

    Actually, on this one I prefer the advice my favourite author (Robert Heinlein) gave: “Always listen to the experts. They will tell you why it can’t be done. Then do it.”


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