Explosive Update

Is the North Head scenic reserve located in the heart of New Zealand's largest city an ammunition dump?

To provide the background to the following you will need to read INFORMATION - THE BOOK (above). However, to really understand what has been going on - you need to read Tunnel Vision Refocused.  This can also be purchased from the home page.

Briefly, the first Boeing aircraft arrived in New Zealand in 1918. Their subsequent disappearance when the New Zealand Flying School closed in 1924 led to rumors and speculation that the aircraft were sealed in tunnels at North Head, the nearest military establishment at that time. This become something of an Auckland folklore tale with five separate investigations, including a Department of Conservation (DOC) investigation between 1992-94 that failed to find any 'sealed tunnels'. Following a protracted court case that finished in 2001 the Official position remains - there are no tunnels at North Head other than those you can see today. Yet many eyewitnesses who came forward were of the opinion that

A. 'Sealed tunnels’ exist at North Head.
B. There is deteriorating ammunition in the 'sealed tunnels’ beneath North Head.
C. There was a conspiracy to keep the 'sealed tunnels’ and deteriorating explosives secret.

The disappearance of the first Boeing aircraft was the focus of my initial investigation. In order to prove whether sealed tunnels exist it was necessary to come up with a more scientific approach to the investigation. After advice from various quarters it was decided to conduct a Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) survey. This survey was conducted between 2011-13. The survey revealed a number of sites at North Head described by the investigating Geophysicist as:

                "There are a large number of features that are clearly man-made and have the characteristics of tunnels".

                "The features seen on the GPR images contain straight line and radial patterns that are clearly related to modern underground workings, rather than archaeological features."

                "These features are not linked to the current (open) network of tunnels, indicating that they have been blocked off at some stage"

A number of photographs that show tunnels have also come to light. There is also additional archival evidence that supports the eyewitness accounts. While Tunnel Vision Refocused addressed this evidence, the full transcripts and recording could not be included. These are now provided below: 


We can now prove there are sealed tunnels North Head, a situation still denied by the military. Clearly my focus then shifted away from the possibility of aircraft in sealed tunnels to the unpalatable possibility that the tunnels could have been sealed for the reasons stated by the eyewitness accounts - deteriorating ammunition. 

Commodore Hunter was the Navy Commander in Auckland during the Earnshaw investigation of 1988. He was also the last military commander of North Head. Here is a letter from him to the local Devonport Borough Council on the 17 January 1989.

In response to a 1983 'Ministerial', Navy Historian Lieutenant Commander Peter Dennerly confirmed the existence of the 'sealed' tunnels and 'maps' showing these 'sealed' tunnels.

Click here for that ‘Ministerial’.

Is there deteriorating ammunition in the 'sealed tunnels’ beneath North Head? This situation is strongly denied by the military.


The telephone conversation you are about to hear is between two men, they are John Earnshaw, a documentary film maker and Bob Tizard, who was the Deputy Prime Minister of New Zealand from 1974 to 1975 and Minister of Defence from 1987 to 1990. They are discussing the situation at North Head and the information that was relayed to Tizard as the Minister of Defence by the Chief of Defence Staff, Lieutenant General John Mace following an enquiry he made about 'sealed' tunnels and explosives at North Head. The other person referred to in the recording is Doug Paterson, the CEO of the National Airways Corporation (NAC), the national domestic airline of New Zealand from 1947 until 1978. Doug had investigated the disappearance of the Boeing aircraft over a number of years.

Click here for the unedited version of this recording (duration 7 minutes 40 seconds), or below for a shortened version. This recording is also referred to on pages 336 – 341 of Tunnel Vision Refocused.

Click here for a copy of the transcript made in MP Wayne Mapp’s office September 2002.

This evidence provided here and that contained in 'Tunnel Vision Refocused' from over 50 eyewitness affidavits, confirms that the military sealed tunnels on North Head. Ex-Minister of Defence Tizard's recording states that the Government of 1988 knew about the presence of ‘weeping’ and dangerous’ ammunition. The implication remains that the military have conspired to keep that information from the public. 

Where to from here?

The 'Tunnel Vision' Project provided DOC (as the Administrators of North Head) with the results of the Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) survey, photographs and archival evidence of sealed tunnels in 2013. Since that time we having been trying to work with DOC and the Iwi landowners to ensure that archaeological investigation occurs. In addition legal avenues have been used to draw DOC's attention to their their responsibilities and obligations under the Health and Safety Act. To date this collaborative approach has failed. We are now stepping up our efforts to ensure that investigation into the sealed tunnels takes place - without further delay!


For further updates see WHATS HAPPENING......