Heritage Hokitika



Heritage Hokitika is an incorporated society dedicated to restoring and preserving the historical identity of Hokitika. Since its inception in 1988 completed projects of Heritage Hokitika have drawn enthusiastic responses from locals and visitors’ alike with raised awareness and pride in the community.


1988 – Heritage Hokitika Inc formed.


1989 – First news letter. Main project is development of Gibson Quay Interpretation Area between Tancred & Sewell Streets.

Planning by Heritage Hokitika for inaugural  Wildfoods Festival  to be held on Gibson Quay underway.


1990 – 1st Wild Foods Festival held 23 – 25 March. Relocated & restored Customhouse opened along with 1st section of the Gibson Quay Interpretation Project.


1991 –   Opening of New Hokitika River Bridge.


1992 – Extension of Heritage area to Sunset Point commenced.


1993 – Commencement of Oral history recording programme.

Viewing tower based on original Signal Station erected at Sunset Point with assistance from Hokitika Rotary Club. ‘Tambo’ Shipwreck memorial planned.


1994 – Heritage Hokitika and Carnegie Building Restoration Committee begin planning for saving & restoring building.

Oil Painting of Carnegie Building by artist – Colin Wynn of Reefton commissioned by Heritage Hokitika & unveiled at Westland District Council Meeting.


1995 – New & improved Heritage Walk brochures introduced.

Restoration planning begins for the delapitated Seaview lighthouse.


1996 – Carnegie Library – Brickwork & plaster cleaned.  Work on new roof continues. Fundraising for stage 2 begins. Internal layout & fittings design finalised.

‘Gold Coin’ open day held to celebrate 90th anniversary of the Foundation Stone placement. After being closed for 20 years, first Public Open Day held to view restoration progress.


1997 – Facelift managed by Westland District Council for Town Clock.

Extra fundraising for Carnegie Library Building required.

Oral history programme continues with enthusiasm.


1998 – Carnegie Building restoration completed & opening ceremony celebration held Saturday 16 May, 1998.


1999 – Public meeting held in Carnegie Building to discuss interest & feasibility of establishing a vintage machinery storage & display area.

Result was Heritage Hokitika sub committee formed in conjunction with Westland Industrial Heritage Park Committee.

Heritage Hokitika assists Hokitika Live Poets Society to publish 2nd book of poetry.


2000 – Progress on gathering machinery & establishing Westland Industrial Heritage Park located near the airport.

Seaview Lighthouse restoration underway with major structural repairs & painting.

Fabrication to replicate original lamp structure begins.

Life boat ‘Countess’ gifted to Hokitika community.


2001 – Official opening of Westland Industrial Heritage Park.

Construction of Cupola for the roof of Carnegie Building underway.

‘Countess’ restoration complete & construction of display boat shed on Gibson Quay underway.


2003 – Ongoing placement of plaques on registered historic structures in conjunction with NZ Historic Places Trust.

Commissioning & installing Quayside & Heritage Walk interpretation panels.


2004 – Investigation begins to replicate original Cass Square Band Rotunda & a section of Kaniere Horse Tram along Gibson Quay.


2005 – Planning begins to shift World War 2 Pill Box along beach to new site adjacent to the Soroptimists Picnic Shelter.

Purchase of relocation of historic Hokitika Police Cell Block for restoration.

Restoration of demolished Westland Hospitital Nursery Rhyme Tiled panels for community display.


2006 – Art seat dedicated to Dr E. Teichelmann adjacent to Westland Hospital Nurses Memorial light standard & Carnegie Building completed.

Teichelmann Gravesite restoration completed.

Assistance to committee developing Rimu/Woodstock Heritage Lookout area.


2007 – Restoration of Pill Box complete.

Planning continues for NZHPT Registration & Conservation Plan funding for historic Totalisator building at Hokitika Race Course.


June 2008 – Currently a feasibility study is underway with Westland District Brass Band to refurbish their historic building on Camp Street.


2009 – Mural depicting 56 ships at the Hokitika Port placed on Museum wall, Tancred Street.


Our stalwart committee members plan to continue projects with historic enthusiasm. Ideally an enlarged membership with younger folk from the community participating would be marvellous.