Gum diggers often worked on the drier hills in winter and headed for the swamps in summer. Teams would locate the gum with very long spears. Here they are keeping the pit relatively dry with a simple hand-powered water pump and pipe, as men take turns to dig. This hole looks to be about 3–4 metres deep. Any deeper than this and the sides could collapse, so they were sometimes shored up with timber.
Te whakamahi i tēnei tūemi
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.