Never-before-seen footage showing the aftermath of the 1931 Napier earthquake has been unearthed from a stack of rusty, dust-covered film cans of a Manawatu photographer's estate.

The tins containing the film were uncovered in 2017 when a garage at a property in Trentham, Upper Hutt was cleared in the process of sorting through the estate of a relative of Thomas Henry Whetton, a Whanganui-based freelance news cameraman active in the 1920s and 1930s.

Ross Dysart McLean - where the Hastings Library is now, on the corner of Eastbourne and Karamu Roads ( when it went right through what is now the exhibition centre). Photo / Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision
Ross Dysart McLean - where the Hastings Library is now, on the corner of Eastbourne and Karamu Roads ( when it went right through what is now the exhibition centre). Photo / Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Retrieving the footage was a painstaking process for the team at Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision, New Zealand's archive of film, sound and television.

Not everything could

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