Heritage site status marked

With the new pouwhenua (landpost) are (from left) Geoff Owen from the Department of Conservation,...
With the new pouwhenua (landpost) are (from left) Geoff Owen from the Department of Conservation, Henry van Asch from AJ Hacket Bungy, Sheila Watson from Heritage New Zealand and Darren Rewi from Ngai Tahu. PHOTO: MANDY COOPER
Two heritage sites in the Wakatipu gained Landmarks Whenua Tohunga status yesterday.

Ceremonies were held at both the Historic Arrowtown Chinese Settlement and Kawarau Suspension Bridge, at the entrance to Gibbston Valley, to celebrate their recognition.

Department of Conservation (Doc) Wakatipu-wai-maori manager Geoff Owen addressed a small crowd at the suspension bridge ceremony.

‘‘The idea is to tell the stories, connect people with our history and provide people with the opportunity in our tourism space to understand New Zealand history.

‘‘It’s a way of also trying to move people around our country as well — so if they have a nice Landmarks experience they’ll look for those other Landmarks experiences in other locations,’’ Mr Owen said.

The sites were chosen because of their significance to the country and the visitor experience they offered.

A pouwhenua (landpost) was unveiled at both locations.

The Landmarks Whenua Tohunga project was initially launched in Northland in conjunction with Doc, Heritage New Zealand and the Ministry for Cultural Heritage.

There are 12 throughout Otago including Queenstown’s TSS Earnslaw — for which there has yet to be a ceremony.

Ngai Tahu Kaumatua Darren Rewi, Queenstown Lakes District Council chief executive Mike Theelen, and AJ Hacket Bungy NZ owner Henry van Asch also gave speeches.

Clutha-Southland MP Hamish Walker, Mr van Asch and Claudia Babriat, from Doc, bungy-jumped following the ceremony.


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