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Funding Given for Heritage Survey of Whalers’ Base

Funding Given for Heritage Survey of Whalers’ Base

Environment Southland is contributing $10,000 towards the costs of a marine archaeological survey of the 1926–1932 Norwegian whalers’ base at Price’s Inlet on Stewart Island.

The Environment Management Committee agreed to proposals for funding from the New Zealand Heritage Places Trust (NZHPT) at its Environmental Management Committee meeting last week.

Environment Southland, NZHPT, Te Ao Marama, the New Zealand Archaeological Association, Department of Conservation, the Southland District Council and the Invercargill City Council are partners in the Southland Coastal Heritage Inventory Project. Work so far has focused on archaeological sites along the Southland coast, but there were plans to extend this to Stewart Island.

While this request pre-empted those plans, there was some concern about the fact that the whalers’ base at Stewart Island presently had no protection and items could be removed.

The site is considered significant due to the story it tells about early 20th century whaling by Norwegians in the Southern Ocean and the tangible evidence that still exists. This includes a concrete/wooden slipway, whale catcher propellers, the Othello hulk and a workshop Swedish boiler.

Council Chairwoman Ali Timms described the project as exciting and said she thought it was really good that the Council was involved.


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