At the top end of Wynyard Wharf one finds a giant axle connecting two giant cogwheels – eight tons apiece – relics from a steam dredge “Whakarire” where they transmitted the power to the bucket chain. The vessel was built in Scotland in 1903 for service in Wellington Harbour until 1934, and thereafter in Napier until 1974, at which time she was scrapped (in Auckland).
A plaque on the pavement commemorates her history. A picture of the vessel is here. And a rather poetic description of the dredge and its working can be found in Wellington’s Evening Post (1907). Two samples give a taste: “like a true Briton, she does not let the fondness for growling interfere with her usefulness“; and “Forbidding to the eye, at a distance, she is lovely at close quarters, and the music of her engines, compound by name, but simple in work, is something to thrill the blood”.