Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search


Stewart Island Gains First Marine Heritage Site

Stewart Island Gains First Marine Heritage Site with Norwegian Whalers’ Base

The historic Norwegian whalers’ base at Price’s Inlet on Stewart Island/Rakiura has been declared an archaeological site by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust making it the first marine heritage site in the country and only the sixth, 20th century site.

It means the base – which includes many tangible items such as the shipwreck of the Othello, a concrete/wooden slipway and dam in the western bay, and the ammunition store and Swedish boiler at Millers Beach – is now legally protected. The site comprises just over 2 hectares across private and Southland District Council Road Reserve land, and extends into the marine area, which is managed by Environment Southland.

A great deal of work went in to fully mapping the marine area and documenting the site to demonstrate its archaeological worth. ‘Project Njord’ was undertaken by the Southland Coastal Heritage Project (SCHIP) and led by NZHPT regional archaeologist (Otago/Southland) Dr Matthew Schmidt and his team.

The SCHIP is a partnership between Environment Southland, the Department of Conservation, the New Zealand Archaeological Association, the New Zealand Historic Places Trust, the Southland District Council, the Invercargill City Council and Te Aō Marama Incorporated on behalf of the Kaitiaki Rūnaka o Murihiku, which supports salvage excavations and the regular monitoring of historic heritage on the Southland coast.

Councillor Neville Cook said Environment Southland had been very impressed with the work that went into surveying the site and that the Rakiura Museum had done a good job of promoting the base. The project also had a lot of local support with volunteers turning out for a big clean-up day last year.

The Rosshavet Whaling Company of Norway used the base from 1926 to 1932 as a repair centre for chaser boats, which were responsible for catching and processing whales for oil before the end product was loaded onto a bigger factory vessel for shipping.

Dr Schmidt said the unique nature of the base not only provided insight into Stewart Island’s heritage, but was nationally significant.

“It’s a very special site in terms of European and our history from last century, in particular, the connection between Antarctica, New Zealand and Norway.”

Environment Southland committed $10,000 from the marine fee reserve fund in October 2012 to help expedite the project’s process because of concerns about the site’s lack of protection against items being removed.

Councillor Cook said Environment Southland was very pleased to have been able to contribute to the preservation of the whalers’ base, which was a special part of Southland’s history. “If we don’t preserve it, we would lose it.”

Dr Schmidt said without the funding for the marine archaeological survey, protection for the marine heritage could not have been achieved.

A Norwegian Celebration, A Norsk Feiring, will be held on Stewart Island, 4–6 April 2014. It will be attended by the Royal Norweign Consulate-General, Graeme Mitchell from Wellington and feature sailings to the whalers’ base. Anyone with enquires about the Norwegain celebrations should contact the Rakiura Muesum.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Scoop Review Of Books: Before The Quakes

Remembering Christchurch: Voices from decades past: The Christchurch I lived in for my first 23 years was where four-year-olds walked alone to kindergarten, crossing roads empty of all but a couple of cars per hour. My primary school, Ilam, was newly built on a grassy paddock surrounded by rural land... More>>

6-11 October: New Zealand Improvisation Festival Hits Wellington

Wellingtonians will have a wide selection of improv to feast on with a jam packed programme containing 22 shows, three companies from Australia, two companies from Auckland, one from Nelson, one from Christchurch and seven from Wellington. More>>


Bird Of The Year: New Zealanders Asked To Vote For Their Favourite Native Bird

Te Radar, David Farrier, Heather du-Plessis Allan and Duncan Garner are just some of the New Zealanders championing their favourite native bird in Forest & Bird’s annual Bird of the Year competition, which kicks off today.. More>>


Werewolf Film: It Follows - Panic In Detroit

Philip Matthews: When you heard last month that Wes Craven had died and you wanted to pay homage, you could have sat down with any one of five of his films that helped reinvent American horror at least three times over three decades... Or you could just have watched one of the greatest recent horror films that would probably not exist without Craven. More>>


Werewolf Music: Searching For The White Wail - On Art Pepper, etc

If the word ‘hipster’ means anything – which it arguably doesn’t – it seems to be more of an impulse than a condition. One always headed for the margins, and away from the white-bred, white-bread mainstream... More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: Leonardo da Vinci - The Graphic Work

The breadth of da Vinci’s work is incredible: from animals to weaponry, architecture to fabric, maps to botany. The works have been divided into themes such as Proportion Drawings, Anatomical Drawings and Drawings of Maps and Plans. Each section begins with a short essay. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: James Hector: Explorer, Scientist, Leader

Publication of this comprehensive 274-page account of the life and work of James Hector by the Geoscience Society of New Zealand marks the 150th anniversary of James Hector’s appointment as New Zealand’s first government scientist. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news