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Gun Emplacements and Look-Out – Bastion Point, Auckland

This military outpost was built by the New Zealand Government in 1885 because of its strategic position overlooking the Waitemata Harbour. In response to the “Russian-scare” of 1973 whereby a Russian warship allegedly captured a British ship in the Auckland Harbour, a series coastal defenses were set up in 1885, including those at North Head and Fort Takapuna. The construction began on gun emplacements at Bastion Point, with the intent to arm it with two BL 6-inch disappearing guns weighing 5 tons apiece and capable of launching 100 point shells. Unlike other forts around the Waitemata Harbour, Bastion Point was never fully completed and many of the fortifications were buried during the 1940’s when the Michael Joseph Savage memorial was built.

Historically the site of a Ngāti Whātua marae, the land was embroiled in controversy during the late 1970’s as plans were made to sell the land off for housing instead of the original intent of returning the land to its traditional Māori owners after it was no longer of military use.

 

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