North & South - - Heritage -

Mo­tat has done an au­dit of all restora­tion, con­ser­va­tion and preser­va­tion work in its col­lec­tion and iden­ti­fied 55 pri­or­ity projects, 16 of which were com­pleted last year. Those cur­rently un­der way in­clude:


Dis­played as a me­mo­rial to the New Zealan­ders who served with Bomber Com­mand over Ger­many in World War II, the Lan­caster ar­rived at Mo­tat in 1964 as a Mk VII and was con­verted and re­con­fig­ured to Mk III spec­i­fi­ca­tions. Orig­i­nally re­stored and re­painted in the 1980s, it’s un­der­go­ing a com­plete in­ter­nal and ex­ter­nal sur­vey in prepa­ra­tion for fur­ther work, in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the New Zealand Bomber Com­mand As­so­ci­a­tion.


The last of its kind in the world, ZK-AMO Aranui was used by Teal (Air New Zealand’s pre­de­ces­sor) on the “Co­ral Route” from Auck­land to Papeete in the 1950s. Ex­ten­sive con­ser­va­tion work over the next two to three years will in­clude clean­ing the flight deck, fit­ting the lower decks with seat­ing and ta­bles, re­fit­ting orig­i­nal fix­tures in the up­per decks, and re­paint­ing the out­side. A 360-de­gree film is planned to record the project, and vis­i­tors will be able to check out progress through the air­craft’s win­dows from spe­cial view­ing plat­forms.


One of only five left in the world, the Sun­der­land Fly­ing Boat’s tailplanes, fin and rud­der have been re­stored in the avi­a­tion work­shop, and work is now com­plete on the wings. Lack of space in the avi­a­tion dis­play hall means the Sun­der­land is still sit­ting out­side, ex­posed to the weather, but the mu­seum is in­ves­ti­gat­ing op­tions to get it un­der cover.


The trailer is be­ing re­built over the next few years and will even­tu­ally be towed be­hind the Wan­ganui Steam Tram No.100 (which will also get an over­haul) or the Wan­ganui Elec­tric Tram No.10, for which it was orig­i­nally de­signed. The last time No.100 towed a trailer was at the clos­ing cer­e­mony for the Wan­ganui tramway in Septem­ber 1950.


This ex­tremely rare tram was built in 1902 by Brush Elec­tri­cal En­gi­neer­ing in the UK and ar­rived in New Zealand as a kit­set to be as­sem­bled here. Dur­ing Auck­land’s Armistice cel­e­bra­tions in 1919, it was dec­o­rated with a mas­sive New Zealand flag made of elec­tric lights (which is still in Mo­tat’s col­lec­tion). No.17 was con­verted into a sin­gle deck, be­fore be­ing with­drawn from ser­vice in 1948, and will be re­stored to its “dou­ble-decker glory”.


In the avi­a­tion sec­tion, replica ex­hausts and guns are be­ing con­structed and fit­ted to the De Hav­il­land DH98 Mosquito, and the tail of the Dou­glas DC-3 is be­ing re­paired.

Projects in road trans­port in­clude: a 1962 No­bel 2000 bub­ble car made in Eng­land and based on the Ger­man Ful­damo­bile; a 1940s Ford 2N trac­tor; a 1972 In­ter­na­tional C1800truck, a World War II In­dian mo­tor­cy­cle; a 1940s Valen­tine Mk II in­fantry tank; and a WWI tank en­gine.

Steam sec­tion work in­cludes an A851 steam car­riage (a 1904-style gas-lit pas­sen­ger car built by NZ Rail­ways and later used as a miner’s train), and con­tin­u­ing restora­tion of the F180 steam lo­co­mo­tive Meg Mer­rilies, built by the York­shire Lo­co­mo­tive Works in 1874 for the New Zealand rail­way net­work.

Plans are also be­ing made to re­store a 1910s Ger­man Oberursel petrol-pow­ered in­dus­trial lo­co­mo­tive, one of only two left in the world, as well as a steel-pan­elled car­riage that was built in the 1930s.

A re­stored dou­bledecker tram.

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