Wellers Rock to be protected

A new project will stop parking at Wellers Rock in a bid to protect the historic site. PHOTO:...
A new project will stop parking at Wellers Rock in a bid to protect the historic site. PHOTO: LINDA ROBERTSON
Thousands of dollars are being poured into a project to stop the degradation of a historic Otago site.

The Dunedin City Council, the Department of Conservation and Te Runanga o Otakou have joined forces to protect Wellers Rock, near Harington Point.

The area is named after whaling businessman Edward Weller and his brother, Joseph, who left Sydney for Otago in 1831.

They landed at Te Umu Kuri, on the eastern side of the harbour, in November that year, an occasion commemorated by a plaque unveiled a century later, and by the naming of the spot as Wellers Rock.

Te Runanga o Otakou member Edward Ellison said runanga members were concerned about the "degradation and erosion" of the site.

"It doesn’t resemble anything like it used to be when we were younger, so we think if we don’t manage the use of that area, that will just continue to deteriorate."

They wrote to the council last year raising the concerns, and had been working closely with it since.

Council planning and partnerships manager John Brenkley said there had been some "pretty appalling" behaviour at Weller’s Rock, including people leaving boat trailers at the site and "inappropriate" parking.

A working group was put together, which has decided to place rocks so people can still launch boats, but there will not be enough space to park afterwards.

"We wanted to really respect the place, the rock," he said.

The first stage of the project was expected to cost between $5000 and $10,000, and had been funded through operational funding.

Stage two of the project, which included signs, had not been funded yet.

"We want it to be signage that’s interpretive, and talks about the history of occupation there, the significance to Maori, the significance to European people."

If it received funding, it would cost between $10,000 and $15,000.

"We’ll be working with council on that to try to get some money."


Is there space to park trailer near by?
Launching and collecting boats is what these people want to pay tribute to but excluding future enjoyment.