Otematata: A study of a rural hydro/holiday home village
This research examines aspects of change and continuity in the small rural settlement of Otematata, located in the Upper Waitaki Valley of New Zealand’s South Island. Otematata was developed in the post-war era as a hydro scheme town – a residential base for workers building the Benmore and Aviemore power stations and associated dams and hydro lakes. The town’s population peaked at over 4000 in the mid-1960s, but then, after the Waitaki hydro project ended, suddenly fell. In the five decades since, Otematata’s resident population has continued to decline (to 186 at the 2013 census), but the settlement has persisted, surviving today as a rural holiday home village, and domestic rural tourism and outdoor recreation mecca. The aim of the research was to contribute a fresh perspective to the New Zealand research on rural change, particularly studies focused on the changing circumstances and adaptive capacity of small rural communities in 21st century New Zealand – those which have experienced (or are experiencing) major shifts in local economic activity, land-use, population and/or employment.... [Show full abstract]
KeywordsOtematata; Waitaki Valley; New Zealand; Waitaki lakes; Benmore; Aviemore; holiday homes; rural communities; rural development; rural change; rural tourism; Alps to Ocean; A20
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