Conservation Minister Nick Smith is expected to make an
announcement about funding to assist with the restoration of
the historic Arrowtown Gaol today as part of a visit to the
The jail was built in 1876 for 500 and was used by police
until 1987. Its last prisoners were two ''bogans'' from
Invercargill who were arrested on New Year's Eve that year.
The plastered schist building, containing five cells, has
rising damp, cracked plaster, rotting timbers and inadequate
Lakes District Museum director David Clarke said an
earthquake engineering report and a conservation plan, which
outlined the work required to protect the building for future
generations, had been completed.
''They basically have to strip the whole thing out, in terms
of plaster, because it's drummy.
''Even though it looks reasonably sound, the last time it had
something done to it was 1976.''
The specialist work would probably cost about $180,000 and it
was planned to use seismic plaster to assist with
Mr Clarke said there were no plans to install electricity in
the building but it was possible a solar panel would be
installed to add to the visitor experience.
The minister will visit the site this afternoon and will be
greeted by members of the Wakatipu Heritage Trust and the
Queenstown Lakes District Historical Society, Lakes District
Museum board members, Queenstown Lakes district councillors
and other supporters.