Denniston Heritage Trust: Conservation Champions, February 2012

Conservation Champions logo.
Celebrating businesses, community groups, iwi and volunteers who are making important contributions to conservation in New Zealand

This month we celebrate the success of the Denniston Heritage Trust, who last year took the Heritage and Environment Award at the Trust Power Buller Regional Awards, and then made a dash to also take out the Supreme Award. 

The Denniston Heritage Trust is made up of representatives from Friends of the Hill Museum, Buller District Council, Solid Energy New Zealand, Development West Coast and the lead agency, the  Department of Conservation. 

Conservation Volunteers New Zealand provided the much needed manpower for landscaping the area and completed restoration work on the many coal bogies used in the underground displays.
Conservation Volunteers New Zealand provided the much needed manpower

The Trust was set up to preserve and enhance the natural, social, industrial and geological history of DOC’s ICON heritage site at Denniston. From this, a unique tourism attraction  was born -- the Denniston Experience, which allows visitors the chance to travel back in time on a restored original Denniston locomotive into the historic Banbury mine. The Trust also developed the Denniston Kiwi Ranger booklet and Denniston Rose tour. They are also in the process of developing an iApps tour of the historic reserve.

John Green, Denniston Experience project manager, says, "It's great to see the Denniston Heritage Trust, and all those involved, recognised for all the good work and many hours they have devoted to such a significant community project. The Denniston Experience is a unique tourism attraction that showcases early New Zealand industrial heritage and the stories of hardship surrounding early coal mining. The attraction will provide considerable economic benefits to the Buller region as well as significant benefits regarding historic conservation."

By bringing Denniston alive as a unique tourism destination, the Denniston Heritage Trust is ensuring the preservation and conservation of not only the site, but of Denniston’s early coal mining stories of human hardship and endeavour that have helped shape and define the West Coast identity.

The work the Denniston Heritage Trust has achieved at Denniston adds significant value to other heritage projects in the area developed by DOC. 

Conservation Volunteers New Zealand provided the much needed manpower for landscaping the area, and completed restoration work on the many coal bogies used in the underground displays. Student volunteers helped restore the mine's features, and Buller Kawatiri Conservation Volunteers helped out with various tasks like removing pipes used in the construction process.


DOC sends a big congratulations to the Denniston Heritage Trust for jointly winning the Supreme Award at the TrustPower National Community Awards on Sunday (25 March 2012).


Denniston coal mine.
Denniston was New Zealand’s largest producing coal mine and is registered as a category one historic site with the Historic Places Trust

International Student Volunteers pose along side the historic Q wagon they helped to restore.
International Student Volunteers pose along side the historic Q wagon they helped to restore


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For more information contact your local DOC office