Murder Weapon Found During Vic Tunnel Build


A dual trigger pistol was among the things discovered while the excavation for the Victoria Park tunnel was taking place.

One assumes it was a murder weapon thrown away and buried.

PISTOL: Found during Victoria Park tunnel build

It’s believed to be late 19th century, so is obviously pre-DNA technology days.

Some other interesting facts:

  • Car lights are not needed inside and the light is strongest in the middle of the day when it’s lightest outside. This is to maintain drivers’ visibility when they drive out of the tunnel into the daylight
  • The tunnel has 8 jet fans in case of a fire. They can clear smoke from a 70 megawatt fire ( a car on fire would be 5 megawatts). Normal tunnel ventilation is in one direction -northbound- and is “powered’ by the movement of vehicles through the tunnel.

TEST: Testing a fire in the Victoria Park tunnel | NZTA


  • The tunnel floor is up to 14 metres below Victoria Park. For most of its 450-metres, it goes below the former Freemans Bay, reclaimed in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The Freemans Bay culvert was built at the same time to take stormwater to the sea. Work to relocate it had to be fitted between high tides. It now cuts across the tunnel roof.

Victoria Park tunnel excavation | NZTA

  •  The relocation of the Orakei Sewer was also very complex. It’s New Zealand’s largest sewer pipeline and its flow at peak time is 2 cubic metres a second. It had to remain live during the work which meant 2am when flows are minimal.
  • Also found during excavations was a basalt stone sea wall below the motorway viaduct seen in 1873 plans and matching the original foreshore along Freemans Bay before the area we know as Victoria Park was reclaimed.
  • An old sea wall and stairs descending to the sea were uncovered. Until the 1960s when land was reclaimed for the Auckland Harbour Bridge, this formed part of the harbour edge.
  • 35 timber piles were found, part of a north to south wharf that existed in the early 1900s.

INSIDE: VIctoria Park tunnel

More photos of inside the tunnel




  1. Geoff Houtman says:

    What happened to the basalt wall and the steps?

    Heritage items for sure…


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