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Chance for public to climb on board


29 October 2008

MEDIA RELEASE

Chance for public to climb on board

Three significant Central Plateau landmarks associated with New Zealand’s rail history are on track for registration with the New Zealand Historic Places Trust (NZHPT).

But before they reach their destination the public are invited to send in comments on the Ohakune Railway Station, and the Makatote and Mangaturuturu Viaducts west of Mt Ruapehu.

During the past three months NZHPT has completed research on these heritage landmarks for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places. The public have till November 13 to give their views.

The closing date for such comments and submissions is just two days shy of centenary celebrations for the official opening of the North Island Main Trunk Line (NIMT) – the rail link between Wellington and Auckland taking 23 years to complete and involving some remarkable engineering feats including the Category I-registered Raurimu Spiral.

Premier Sir Joseph Ward symbolically drove in the last spike at Manganui-o-te-ao near Horopito on 6 November 1908, a site which is also registered by NZHPT.

The Makatote Viaduct was built between 1905 and 1908. At 79m tall it was the last, and highest, structure on the NIMT. The Mangaturuturu Viaduct was also completed in 1908 and is the highest altitude railway structure in New Zealand.

Ohakune Railway Station, built in 1906, includes a signal box, formerly the Paekakariki North End Signal Box that was relocated in the 1990s.

NZHPT General Manager, Central Region, Ann Neill said submissions can be made in writing, either by email or letter. This process gives the public the opportunity to say whether or not they agree with the NZHPT assessment of the heritage values or if there are any technical details that need changing.

“It doesn’t have to be a detailed submission or very formal – it can be, say, a brief expression of support and why registration should go ahead.

“The public can read our registration reports on the NZHPT website (www.historic.org.nz). Each report is a thoroughly-researched and detailed appraisal– detailing why the heritage site could meet the criteria for being listed on the National Register.

“Of course any additional information the public can provide that adds weight to the history and heritage value of the site is appreciated. It’s a great opportunity for the public to give their support to the North Island Main Trunk Line - a valuable, and visible, part of our history.”

All submissions are noted and inform any changes to the reports before the final decision by the NZHPT Board.

Submissions can be sent to: Ann Neill, PO Box 19173, Wellington 6011 or by e-mail to aneill@historic.org.nz


ends

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