Cyclone Gabrielle: Historic shot tower to be demolished as storm risk

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Auckland's Mt Eden shot tower
Auckland's Mt Eden Shot Tower . . . dated from the 19th century "Russian scare". Image: NZ News

RNZ News

The historic shot tower in Aotearoa New Zealand’s Auckland suburb of Mt Eden which caused concern that it could fall during the worst of Cyclone Gabrielle last week will be demolished from tomorrow.

Residents from about 50 housing units surrounding the former Colonial Ammunition Company Shot Tower on Normanby Road were evacuated last Monday due to the risks.

Auckland Emergency Management said the demolition would begin tomorrow.

It said residents who were evacuated would not be able to move back until the works were finished.

The Colonial Ammunition Company shot tower was a relic of the “Russian scares” of the late 19th and early 20th century.

It was built to drop hot balls of lead into water below to create shot pellets.

The Colonial Ammunition Company was established in 1885 by Major John Whitney and W H Hazard in response to Tsar Alexander deploying some of his naval fleet into the North Pacific to Vladivostok.

Fears were rife that he was about to expand his empire.

Fortifications were quickly built in Auckland and the need for ammunition supplies independently of Britain became urgent.

This article is republished under a community partnership agreement with RNZ.

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