Frankton’s maritime makeover begins

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Work has begun to revive 125 years of Lake Wakatipu maritime history at Frankton marina’s old boastshed and shipping office. 

Building consent has been granted and the Queenstown Lakes District Council has signed a 33-year lease with the Wakatipu Community Maritime Preservation Society to save the historic buildings. 

Work will finish later this year – and will see the buildings turned into a working boastshed and two slipways for public use, a café and a centre celebrating Lake Wakatipu’s maritime heritage. 

The New Zealand Railways shipping office built between 1869-78 and the 1934-5 boatshed are now listed as category two historic buildings in the council’s District Plan. 

A Conservation Plan last year highlighted the buildings unique history and fragile nature and prompted action as the buildings were in such a dilapidated state. 

They were to be demolished in 1999 but founding members of the preservation society worked to save the buildings and have raised $740,000 for the project. 

Founding members of the society have worked for over 10 years to preserve the buildings as they were meant to be demolished in 1999. 

Queenstown mayor Vanessa Van Uden says when the project is complete it’ll be a community asset. 

“It’ll bring new value to the reserve area, provide facilities for the community and, especially, highlight and enhance the maritime heritage of the Lakes District.” 

The reparations will be funded by The Community Trust of Southland and Central Lakes Trust, Lotteries, First Sovereign Trust, Kiwi Rail and other local and offshore businesses. 

Work will be managed by Triple Star Management with a number of local contractors and trades people volunteering their services and materials towards the rebuild. 

The preservation society is calling for anyone with memories, stories, artefacts or items relating the history of the two buildings to come forward so it can be shared.