Ghostly Photos of Decaying Industry in Rural New Zealand

The freezing works close, people leave and nature moves in.

by Tess McClure; photos by Thomas Teutenberg
18 April 2018, 3:47am

All images: Tom Teutenberg

Photographer Tom Teutenberg captures the remnants of abandoned industry: freezing works, meat processing plants, and whaling relics. The long-standing rural town money-makers which he says “were booming and just died”.

Travelling around the East Coast: Gisborne, Tokomaru Bay, Waipaoa, he’s also captured along the way what else is lost when those key industries fade: the banks, post offices, old high-streets turned empty.

Teutenberg grew up in Gisborne, and has known some of the buildings—especially the old freezing works—since childhood. “As long as I can remember they’ve been abandoned,” he says.

“So it’s almost creepy—but quite beautiful as well.”

Watch our documentary Lost Boys of Taranaki about youth offenders growing up among poverty and disappearing industry in rural Taranaki.

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