12 October: A Report on Progress at Otahuna Lodge
Following the Canterbury Earthquake of 4 September, a sweeping restoration programme has commenced at Otahuna Lodge. This multi-month programme includes the rebuild of the property’s multiple chimneys, the replacement of damaged roof areas, the correction of faults to the homestead’s plastered walls and ceilings and extensive seismic strengthening.
The progress of works at the homestead – New Zealand’s largest private historic residence – has been swift. Presently, the restoration programme is the most advanced of any being undertaken to a heritage building in Canterbury and has the full support of local councils and the New Zealand Historic Places Trust.
A number of accomplishments have been made in the past five-week period. Fletcher Construction, the pre-eminent general contractor in New Zealand and the South Pacific, has been retained to oversee the works at Otahuna. More than 4000 slate shingles—as close a match as possible to the originals—have been installed to the roof. Sophisticated engineering and architectural solutions have been considered and are now approved for the rebuild of all of the property’s damaged chimneys. Interior works are being undertaken by some of the nation’s most respected historic conservation specialists.
Otahuna’s Owner and Managing Director, Hall Cannon, states that he is “very pleased with the progress of works at the Lodge. This is indeed an unprecedented event for both Otahuna and New Zealand. However, I have every confidence that we have assembled the best team in the business to help us restore the Lodge to its former condition and prepare for its soon re-opening.”
In order to ensure that all necessary works can be undertaken to restore the property to its previous condition the decision has been made to keep Otahuna closed until Monday, 10 January 2011. The entire Lodge team remains in place during the closure to help restore the property and prepare for future guests. "We are accepting forward bookings but in the interim we are working closely with our peer properties throughout New Zealand to re-accommodate our guests during this extraordinary situation," Cannon said.
Information will be regularly posted on the Otahuna Lodge website and on Otahuna's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/otahuna. For further information or for reservations, please contact Otahuna Lodge on +64 3 329 6333 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.