White Horse area’s do-up takes shape

Waimate2gether’s project to restore the White Horse monument area —including the construction of new viewing platforms, toilets, a car parkingarea, landscaping, and new signs and information panels showcasing the history of the South Canterbury town — is
Waimate2gether’s project to restore the White Horse monument area —including the construction of new viewing platforms, toilets, a car parkingarea, landscaping, and new signs and information panels showcasing the history of the South Canterbury town — is almost finished. PHOTOS: REBECCA RYAN/SUPPLIED
An end is in sight for the team breathing new life into Waimate’s White Horse monument.

The redevelopment of the area by community group Waimate2gether was due for completion at the beginning of next month, when the final plantings should be finished, project manager Jo Sutherland said.

A community planting would be held on April 10.

"We’re nearly there. Just got the last couple of seats and tables going in, and then we’ve got all the planting to do ... We didn’t want to do it any earlier, because it’s too dry."

The project included the construction of viewing platforms, new toilets, a car parking area, landscaping and new signs and information panels on the history of the South Canterbury town.

The White Horse itself had also been restored, and was awaiting its final coat of glow-in-the-dark white paint.

The goal was to have a large community opening in May, and it was hoped Covid restrictions would have eased so all groups involved in the project could gather, Mrs Sutherland said.

The area’s three kindergartens, six primary schools and Waimate High School had created their own decorative pou (columns) which, when in place, would be "gorgeous".

"They’re all about who was in the space, who’s in the space now, and who will be in the place in the future," she said.

"And we’re going to have QR codes on each pou that take you back to the school, that explains the values, and the meaning and what the pou are about for each individual school."

There was also a pou coming from Christchurch, based on the two chief wives of the district.

The project had received funding from the Department of Internal Affairs (more than $420,000) and the Waimate District Council ($20,000), and other community groups had contributed funds and time.

It had been about two years since community consultation began for the project, and the pandemic had affected supplies and increased costs, Mrs Sutherland said.

"We probably wanted to do it quicker, but I think we’re doing pretty well.

The project’s aim was to create a nice place for people to visit, which also reflected the area’s heritage.

The place was already attracting extra visitors, who were loving what had been done, especially the viewing platforms.

"You’ve got beautiful views of South Canterbury and you can walk, bike or drive there ... and having information up there, yeah, everyone went up there, but there was nothing telling them about the horse or about the area — you know we’ve built in all the history of it."

ashley.smyth@odt.co.nz

Add a Comment

Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter