The New Zealand Wars Interpretation Centre at Queen's Redoubt, Pokeno
Queen's Redoubt Trust
The Queen's Redoubt Trust owns, maintains, manages, promotes and the New Zealand War site of Queen's Redoubt. The redoubt site is a national landmark one hour south of Auckland adjacent to State Highway 1 at Pokeno.
The Queen's Redoubt Trust was incorporated on 19 February 1999 (AK/948008) as a charitable trust under the Charitable Trust Act 1957.
To preserve Queen's Redoubt, Pokeno, and to develop the heritage site as a nationally significant visitor and education centre for learning about the New Zealand Wars and understanding their place in our history, and as a memorial to all those who losttheir lives.
The objectives of the Queen's Redoubt Trust are:
Queen's Redoubt Trustees recognise that an undertaking of this nature requires input and support from many interested parties and will be actively working with these communities and organisations to achieve the strategic initiatives of the Trust.
When the Queen's Redoubt Trust was incorporated as a charitable trust in February 1999, the first goal was to raise funds to buy the historic Queen's Redoubt site at Pokeno, South Auckland. Purchase of the land was achieved in March 2001. The Trust isnow focused on the preservation, maintenance and development of the site as a major educational and visitor destination.
The objective of the Queen's Redoubt Trust is to develop and run at the site a major visitor attraction to be known as 'The New Zealand Wars Interpretation Centre at Queen's Redoubt, Pokeno'.
Queen's Redoubt, Pokeno, was the headquarters for the July 1863 invasion of the Waikato by the British Army. The Waikato War of 1863-64 was the major campaign of 19th century New Zealand Wars between Maori and European, which has shaped the subsequenthistory of this country. Queen's Redoubt is thus a key site relating to a critical point in New Zealand history. It is one of our country's most important historic places.
The site is ideally situated in terms of location and history to tell the story of the most important military campaign fought in New Zealand, including tactical and strategic aspects, success and failure, the personal stories of participants, the heroismand tragedy.
Queen's Redoubt, Pokeno, is 45 minutes south of Auckland at the junction of State Highway 1 (to Hamilton, Waitomo and beyond), and State Highway 2 (to the Coromandel and Bay of Plenty, Rotorua, etc.). Approximately 1.5 million people live within an hoursdrive. Heavy traffic volumes pass the site every day to provide a strong basis for good visitor numbers. A high proportion of overseas tourists in New Zealand pass by the site in the course of their visit.
Development of a Queen's Redoubt interpretation centre in the future will facilitate the telling of the wider story of the New Zealand Wars fought between Maori and Päkehä from the 1840s to early 1870s in the Bay of Islands, Bay of Plenty, East Coast,Gisborne, Hawke's Bay, Tä ranaki, Wanganui and Wellington districts. The history and outcome of the New Zealand Wars is very relevant to New Zealand in the 21st century. The historic site will be promoted as 'The New Zealand Wars Interpretation Centreat Queen's Redoubt, Pokeno'.
A focussed and successful visitor attraction at Queen's Redoubt, will be a major new element in the mix of visitor attractions in the Auckland and Waikato regions, as an excursion destination in itself, and the start of a Waikato War Historic Trail southto Te Awamutu and beyond, and as a stopover for travellers to other destinations south of Auckland.
The New Zealand Historic Places Trust has a statutory role under the Historic Places Act 1993 to assess historic significance, and this makes it the New Zealand authority in this matter. The current Trust assessment criteria are presented in the RegistrationProposal form. These criteria are: Historical, cultural, aesthetic, archaeological, architectural, scientific, social, spiritual, technological and traditions significance or value.
Based on these criteria, the New Zealand Historic Places Trust considers the site of Queen's Redoubt is of national significance.
The Queen's Redoubt Trust in March 2001 purchased 1.7778 ha (ca 4.4 acres) including the greater part of the Queen's Redoubt site, lying between the Great South Road at the south end of the township of Pokeno, the rear of houses along the east side ofSelby Street, an unformed legal road and the motorway (State Highway 1). The property includes Part of Lot 14 (DP 13817), and Lots 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18 (DP 21310).
The property described above is owned freehold by the Queen's Redoubt Trust. After protracted discussions initially with the Franklin District Council; in September 2012 the Waikato District Council vested management of the unformed legal roadon the south side of the redoubt to the Queen's Redoubt Trust. The Trust has formed a metalled road on the paper road to provide vehicular access and parking at the redoubt site.
The property is under grass, and largely level but for a slight dip to the Great South Road on the south-west side. There is a house on Lot 14 DP 13817.
The Queen's Redoubt site is recorded in the New Zealand Archaeological Association site record scheme as site number S12/23 (formerly N46-47/188).
The Queen's Redoubt Trust (QRT) was formed in February 1999 with the aim of raising the money required to purchase the site of Queen's Redoubt and develop the site as a visitor attraction. The QRT purchased the Redoubt property on 28 March 2001, afteralmost five years of fund-raising and negotiations.
In June 1999 the New Zealand Lottery Grants Board gave the Trust its first $100,000 towards a purchase price of $310,000. Discussions with the ASB Bank Community Trust indicated its potential support for funding half of the purchase cost; thisleft us with a shortfall of over $50,000 to make up the other 50%. The Queen's Redoubt Trust then went back to the Lottery Grants Board and obtained another grant to cover the shortfall in November 2000. The Trust then made a formal application to theASB Bank Community Trust for the balance of the funds. On 8 March 2001 we received formal confirmation of our successful application.
On 14 March 2001 the Queen's Redoubt Trust went unconditional on its sale and purchase agreement with the owners, with a settlement date of 28 March.
Plan Change 42 (Franklin District Council, 2008) created the Queen's Redoubt Special Heritage Zone which allows all the proposed developments on the site to create a nationally significant heritage site. Prior to that the property was zoned rural withallowance for development.
Waikato District Council gives rate relief on the Queen's Redoubt Trust property.
There are four parts to development of 'The New Zealand Wars Interpretation Centre at Queen's Redoubt, Pokeno'.
The 'New Zealand Wars Interpretation Centre at Queen's Redoubt' will be developed first and foremost as a visitor attraction. This is in order to:
The Queen's Redoubt project depends therefore on site development of international class in terms of:
The 'New Zealand Wars Interpretation Centre at Queen's Redoubt, Pokeno' will consist of:
The first phase of the development requires considerable research to underpin effective presentation of the site as a visitor attraction from opening day. Archaeological and historical research will increase knowledge of the site, andalso enable the recovery of the maximum archaeological knowledge of the site prior to development of visitor facilities which might otherwise destroy valuable archaeological information. Continued archaeological excavations after opening day will be ofinterest to many visitors. Subsequently there will be on-going research into Queen's Redoubt, the Waikato Campaign and New Zealand Wars as a whole to continue development of knowledge of the subject. The Queen's Redoubt Trust sees itself as having animportant role in undertaking or commissioning research into the New Zealand Wars, and will be a centre for such research and its dissemination.
Development of Queen's Redoubt as a major visitor and educational facility will be carried out in conjunction with prior archaeological excavation in order to maximise knowledge of the historic site for future exhibition and interpretation. At the sametime, historical research will continue into Queen's Redoubt itself, the Pokeno district, the Waikato Campaign of 1863-64 and the New Zealand Wars as a whole.
Three archaeological excavations have so far been carried out at Queen's Redoubt. A two-week excavation directed by Nigel Prickett, Curator of Archaeology, Auckland War Memorial Museum, took place in February 1992 as a condition of the New Zealand HistoricPlaces Trust in granting an authority to the then land-owner to modify the archaeological site. This included a small area of redoubt interior, two trenches excavated across the defensive ditch, and some exploration of the eastern corner bastion defense.This has been reported in, 'The history and archaeology of Queen's Redoubt, South Auckland' (Records of the Auckland Museum (2003), Vol. 40, pp. 5-37).
The second excavation took place after acquisition of the property by the Queen's Redoubt Trust in April 2004, directed by Warren Gumbley, a Hamilton-based archaeological consultant. Approximately 425 m2 of redoubt interior was stripped by machine andthen hand excavated, between the house on the property and Great South Road. Two trenches were excavated across nearby defensive ditch. An unpublished report to the Queen's Redoubt Trust describes the work (Warren Gumbley, 'Queen's Redoubt; report onthe 2004 archaeological excavation', Hamilton, 7 pp. plus illustrations and table of finds).
The third excavation was directed by Dr Neville Ritchie in January 2010. It involved extending the area excavated in 1992 and trying to ascertain the extent and construction of the SE bastion (Ritchie 2012)
The three excavations to date have total ca 600 m2 of the interior of the redoubt which is characterised by shallow postholes in linear arrangements from the numerous huts, carefully arranged to make best use of the available area. In the areas so farexcavated there are some drains and rare scattered broken glass, ceramics and other items. Exploration of the defenses has revealed a massive ditch 8 ft (2.4 m) deep and ca 18 ft (5.5 m) across. Broken glass, ceramics and other items are found at thebottom of the original ditch and in the material with which it was filled in the 1920s.
It is important that archaeological excavation gives us a full and accurate plan of the redoubt interior, and also fully describes the defensive works. Archaeological exploration of the area outside the actual redoubt is also needed prior to any development,which is destructive of the archaeological resource, in order to fully interpret the site. It is anticipated that for some years an important part of both the development and visitor attraction of Queen's Redoubt will be annual volunteer excavations undertakento complete excavation of the redoubt area.
A start to historical research has been made in the report of the 1992 excavation referred to above. Queen's Redoubt is a major historic place in the historic landscape of the period, which includes Maori settlements and other sites and pre- and post-warEuropean farming and other settlement as well as the associated military sites dating from the early and mid-1860s. Some of these are shown on a May 1862 map by Captain George Richard Greaves (70th Regiment).
Maori settlements prior to the war were Mangatawhiri and Pokino (the current spelling of 'Pokeno' is incorrect). Near Mangatawhiri was a flourmill of which archaeological remains are still visible on Tani Te Whiora (Leatham's) Stream, a tributary ofMangatawhiri River. Three pre-war European farmhouses in the district belonged to Sagg, Selby and Austin. Camp Pokino, on today's Helenslee Road, was the first British Army military establishment in the district, and dates from construction of the GreatSouth Road in early 1862. The original Great South Road traversed the high ground west of today's Pokeno township to reach the Waikato River at Te Ia, where Bluff Stockade was put up to protect the landing place. At the Mangatawhiri River crossing weremore camps and defensive works dating from July 1863. For some weeks before the war moved to the south three redoubts defended an extensive camp at Koheroa, on the terrace above today's road and railway.
At the heart of Queen's Redoubt as a visitor attraction will be reconstruction of the fortification earthworks and selected reconstruction of barrack and other buildings within the redoubt. A major part of this must be achieved by openingday, but continued development of earthworks and historic buildings will provide for continuing visitor interest, and further development of effective methods of reconstruction. The major task in on-site development for successful interpretation of thehistoric Queen's Redoubt site will be reconstruction of the fort earthworks. This will be central to public interpretation of the site.
Queen's Redoubt had the most massive defences of any European earthwork fort put up in the New Zealand Wars. The defensive ditches of most earthwork redoubts were 6 ft (1.8 m) deep and 9-10 ft (2.7-3. m) wide. Archaeological excavation has showed theditch at Queen's Redoubt to be 8 ft (2.4 m) deep and ca 18 ft (5.5 m) across at ground level. The scale of the Queen's Redoubt earthworks is in line with the historical importance of the fort. Three-quarters of the 100 x 100 m Queen's Redoubt, includingca 60% of the length of the defences, is on land owned by the Queen's Redoubt Trust. The rest is in private properties on the south side of Selby Street and east of Great South Road.
Successful reconstruction of the Queen's Redoubt defences will depend on the development of pioneering techniques for New Zealand in the stabilisation of historic earthworks. Considerable progress has already been made in this with reconstruction ofthe ditch and wall between the house and the Great South Road. This has required the major volunteer labour input of the project thus far.
The second part of Queen's Redoubt reconstruction will be the erection of one or more replica buildings within the earthworks. These will replicate as near as possible the original buildings in the fort, which were prefabricated in Onehunga from Waitakarekauri and carted down the Great South Road. There were 27 wooden buildings inside the fort which served as barracks for 450 soldiers, plus officer's quarters, guardrooms, hospital, storerooms, etc. The exact location of all buildings in the redoubtwill be revealed by archaeology and reconstructed buildings will occupy exactly the location of one or more of the original building locations. Building interiors will provide an opportunity for display of material and information relating to the camplife of troops in the period.
Part of the QRT's vision for 'The New Zealand Wars Interpretation Centre at Queen's Redoubt, Pokeno' will be the establishment a purpose-built visitor centre. Ultimately this will be a significant stand-alone building of international quality, but which clearly references this country and the particular stories with which Queen's Redoubt is concerned. The outstanding architectural qualities of the visitor centre will play an important part in the overall visitor attraction. The visitor centre will provide for the following facilities: interpretation centre and museum; New Zealand Wars research centre; café and food outlet; office of Queen's Redoubt Trust; and information centre and toilet facilities
The visitor centre will eventually include:
Because the funds required to build the proposed visitor centre will be substantial and well beyond the capabilities of the Queen's redoubt Trust for many years to come, it was decided to build a more modest visitor centre in a form characteristic of 1860's buildings, as an interim measure. This building has now been erected and includes a meeting room with storage and work areas and an adjacent display area where the story of the NZ Land Wars will be told.
Outside the redoubt earthworks, and sited for separate access, will be a memorial to all Maori and Pakeha who were killed in the New Zealand Wars. The memorial itself will be subject to a design competition and is intended to be a powerfulremembrance of all who lost their lives in the conflict, so that we are reminded of what they were fighting for and their part in making our country what it is today.
The New Zealand Wars Memorial/Whakamaharatanga is the third major element in the physical development at the Queen's Redoubt site. Those who gave their lives in the wars deserve respect and deserve to be remembered. New Zealanders who lost their livesin overseas wars are rightly known and honoured. Their names are recorded on memorials and in published works. Maori and Pakeha who lost their lives in the New Zealand Wars deserve no less.
There are three parts to the development of the Memorial:
Background research into those who lost their lives in the wars is aimed at developing a resource of information on the individuals involved. This will include their birthplace, circumstances and place of death, whakapapa/ genealogy, whanau, hapu andiwi links, regiment or other military unit, rank, etc. It is also intended to include later whakapapa and genealogical information so that whanau/ families can relate to those who died.
The research will depend largely on official (government) and unofficial (newspapers, etc.) published resources. Where there are gaps in the record, particularly for Maori who are not as well recorded as Pakeha, oral history may be used.
The development of a user-friendly digital data-base is seen as essential for public use of the information resource, especially whanau/ family. A paper and image file will provide further information and historical context of home background, war history,major battles and other circumstances of the service and death of individuals as can be established.
The focus of the New Zealand Wars Memorial/ Whakamaharatanga will be the physical monument itself. The actual form of this will depend on tangata whenua, the Queen's Redoubt Trust, and the designer expression of ideas and concepts that develop from thewider discussion. The actual design will be subject to open competition. The aim is to create a monument which will be a powerful and inclusive statement of commitment and sacrifice, which will serve to remind us of the war that took place in this countryand also of significant on-going matters of fairness and mutual respect. Like all memorials it will be a statement not just about the past but also about the present and the future.
The Queen's Redoubt Trust currently has a small income from rent of the house on the property and from a grazing lease. This covers ongoing property maintenance, rates, and some development costs.
Development of th
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