Story: Prisons

Milford Track prison work gang, 1890s

Milford Track prison work gang, 1890s

A prison work gang stands on the Milford Track in the early 1890s. The group is working on the route along the Arthur River to Lake Ada, under the supervision of Edward Price (far left). A prison camp called Humeville was established in Milford Sound in December 1890, with the aim of building a road to Te Anau. This fitted with Inspector General of Prisons Arthur Hume's policy that the public works carried out by prisoners should occur away from the view of the general public. At Milford, prisoners and guards suffered from rain, mud, sandflies and isolation. Humeville was abandoned in June 1892, and work on the road was continued by private contractors.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library, F. G. Radcliffe Collection (PAColl-4950)
Reference: 1/2-066563-F

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:

Peter Clayworth, 'Prisons - Developing a national prison system, 1880–1949', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 27 September 2021)

Story by Peter Clayworth, published 20 Jun 2012