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From Kauri Gum to Kūmara - Roadside Stories

From Kauri Gum to Kūmara - Roadside Stories


State Highway 12, Dargaville

A Manatū Taonga audio guide to Dargaville. Check out the Ministry for Culture and Heritage's audio guide in the image carousel above.

In the late 19th century Auckland’s main export was kauri gum. One rich source of the gum was the swampy land around Dargaville where kauri forests had been cleared. Gum-digging was tough work, often done by Dalmatian immigrants and by Māori. Today the Dargaville area is known for growing kūmara (sweet potato).

Dargaville and the Northern Wairoa,

Kauri gum and gum digging,

Scraping gum,


Draining a swamp,


Archival audio sourced from Radio New Zealand Sound Archives, Sound files may not be reused without permission from Radio New Zealand Sound Archives (Reference number 27604).

Roadside Stories is a series of audio guides that follow major road trips in New Zealand. The stories cover the places you’ll pass along the way – their people, their history, their cultural and natural significance. For more information about Roadside Stories visit

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