Twenty-one railway workers and support staff were killed when a flash flood occurred on the Kōpuawhara Stream near Māhia, in February 1938. The workers were building the Wairoa–Gisborne railway line and lived at a campsite above the stream. Torrential rainfall sent a 5-metre wall of water rushing down the stream, which burst its banks and swept away the campsite. This is the site the next day.
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