Wellington Airport Construction Photos – Updated Sept 2013

My first cousin, once removed, caught my grandmother about to throw a tonne of old photographs out. In that pile were these six images from the construction of the airport. The construction company that built the bulk of the original airport was owned by my great-grandfather, a Bognuda, and these pictures show how the airport was created. We think they are circa 1950’s.

These images are compressed down, if you want the full size ones, then drop me an email at ian at isisgroup dot co dot nz and I’ll share a link I have with them on SkyDrive. I’ll see if I can find some more.

Two of the construction company bulldozers
Two of the construction company bulldozers
Taking fill for the airport from Moa Point
Taking fill for the airport from Moa Point

The shot above shows a crew taking fill from the Moa Point site, where the sewage treatment plant is today, looking back across to the Gasworks under the hills in Miramar.

The South end of the airport
The South end of the airport
Looking from Rongotai South
Looking from Rongotai South
Conveyor system to move the fill
Conveyor system to move the fill

A conveyor system was used to move the fill around the airport.

Thanks to the Heavy Equipment Forums for these pictures as well.

airport1 airport2 airport3 airport4 airport5 airport6 airport7 airport8 airport9 airport10 airport11 airport12 airport13 airport14 airport15 airport16 before job dryden 1to10_0005 dryden 1to10_0007 dryden 1to10_0008 dryden 1to10_0009 finished job


  1. Would like permission to upload these photo’s onto NZ Road Transport & Contracting Archives, a forum on Facebook for all its members to share their photo’s and memories. All members are either retired or current drivers/mechanics who have been or are still active in the transport and earthmoving industry over the past 50-60 years.

      1. Much appreciated. I worked for Green & McCahill Contractors Ltd, on the Ngaranga Gorge project, Silverstream landfill project, Twin Lakes Te Marua project. Some of the men on our forum worked for Drydens and Taylor & Culley.

        King Regards

  2. Great set of photos, the colored one shows a Vickers dozer, this was the only project I ever saw them on, you can see the tank undercarriage configuration, they had a rolls motors as i recall, my Dad worked for Fred and Jack Bognuda, I met them both when I was a teenager, then worked on their equipment when serving my apprenticeship with IHC, they had mainly IHC plant, worked on the T75 motorscraper in the photos and their TD24s

  3. Worked for F & J Bognuda. Started at Drycreek Quarry, operating a 10 RB. Shifted to Rongatai With Bognuda, Taylor & Cully. Operated Freds first NCK. Good memories of Paddy Bishop, Joe Bennet, Claud Langam and many more Operators. The 2 TD24’s in the photo pushing material up to my Digger.

    1. I worked with Joe, on the Robe River rail line West Australia, 1971, he was on a D9 pushing us on the scrapers, & found him to be a top man

      1. Hi Frank. Thanks for the reply. Did not know that Joe went to Aussie. He was a top operator, could Operate anything. Had some fun with him way back in 1956. Wonder where he is now, he must be at least 84 Years of age. Best Wishes. Jimmy.

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