Story: South Pacific economic relations

Rock phosphate, 1906

Rock phosphate, 1906

Rock phosphate and guano (bird droppings) were mined in the South Pacific and converted into fertiliser in New Zealand factories such as this one at Westfield, Auckland. Handling the raw phosphate was smelly and uncomfortable work. It could also be dangerous, as inhaling the guano dust could cause chest infections.

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Alexander Turnbull Library, Labour Department Collection
Reference: PA1-o-370-11

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Geoff Bertram, 'South Pacific economic relations - Sugar and phosphate', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 14 July 2024)

Story by Geoff Bertram, published 11 Mar 2010