‘Hugh & G.K Neill’ 1929 Murchison earthquake postcard list

To further aid your search of this index


This will create a search box in the corner of your computer monitor. Type keywords into this text field and they will be highlighted in the index. Click on the thumbnail images displayed for an expanded view.


The New Zealand Postcard Society is committed to growing the knowledge base of our early postcard photographers and publishers. To do this we need your help.

Please check your own postcard collections and if your are able to add to the content of the 'Hugh & G.K Neill' Murchison earthquake postcard list below then we would like to hear from you. You can do this very simply by using the 'Contribute' form provided at the end of the list. Fill in all the relevant details about your postcard/s and upload an image (if you choose to) by using the facility provided. Our preference is for 600 dpi .jpg images (file size of less than 5MB).


All files uploaded to the NZPS website go directly to the website control panel along with the contributor's details. Currently only the Webmaster has access to this area. For your protection, before publishing any images all photographs are resized down to 800 pixels and are edited in such a way that they display adequately but have limited clarity as printed enlargements. The photos will not be used in any other way on the NZPS website other than that for which they were intended by the owner. Postcard lists with attached images are located in the 'Members only' area of the website.

Expanding the content of the Society's postcard lists will go a long way towards developing a broader understanding of the images captured, and the postcards published by our early postcard photographers and publishers.

Please take the time to contribute to this archive.

The Murchison earthquake postcards of Hugh & G. K. Neill Ltd

- by Steve McLachlan


On 17 June 1929, at 10:17 a.m., a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck the northern South Island. It was felt in cities and towns all over New Zealand, but it was half a day before authorities realised that the worst hit region was the top of the South Island. The first reports of serious damage came from Greymouth, Nelson and Westport. In Greymouth most chimneys were destroyed and gas, water and sewage pipes had broken. In Nelson, shop windows had broken and chimneys had collapsed. At Nelson College the tower had fallen and dormitory roofs had been smashed by falling stonework. Fortunately no-one was in the dormitories at the time. It was the worst since the 1855 Wellington earthquake, and the first to cause a large number of deaths (17). The earthquake centre was in the Lyell Range, just west of Murchison, and thus the earthquake became known as the 1929 Murchison earthquake.

The Dunedin photographic company of Hugh & G. K. Neill sprang into prominence with their 1925 appointment as official photographers of the New Zealand & South Seas International Exhibition held in Dunedin in 1925-26. They produced a large series of postcards for the exhibition from their premises at Camera Corner 93 George St, not far from the Octagon in central Dunedin. By 1929 the company had moved a few shops northwards to the Corner of George and St Andrews Streets.

For the 1929 Murchison Earthquake they produced another long series of postcards showing scenes from Greymouth, Westport and Nelson. None are known from Murchison itself or other inland areas, so it seems likely that Neill’s photographer only visited those areas accessible by boat.

  • Download a .pdf of this list  -  Adobe_PDF_file_icon_24x24

Compiled by Steven McLachlan

Hugh & G. K. Neill 1929 Murchison Earthquake Postcard list



Additional Details


Total of 22 listings


Shop Front Collapsed at Greymouth


Backyard of House at Greymouth.


Razed Chimneys at Greymouth


A car in Difficulties, Greymouth.



Damaged Business Premises Greymouth


Quarry at Cobden.


Near Blaketown bridge, Greymouth.


Collapsed Chimney at Greymouth.


Classroom at Nelson College.


Debris of Tower at Nelson College.


Northern Front of Nelson College.


Western Entrance, Nelson College.


Wall of Masonic Hotel.


Damage to shop in Hardy St, Nelson.



Earthquake ?? Tower Nelson College N.Z


N769 NZ

Image of Clock Tower Nelson College


Debris of the Tower at Nelson   College.


Chimney Stack, Griffins Mill, Nelson.


Pillar weighing one ton.



Post Office Westport.


Betts Garage Westport.


Interior Post Office Westport.



Uniform back design for all postcards