It’s said that Thomson had originally obtained Māori names for local rivers from Māori living at Lake Taieri. When some officials and runholders thought these names were too difficult to pronounce, Thomson chose names that reflected the Northumbrian dialect for an animal and the Gaelic word `burn’, translated as `fresh water.’
Today the many `burns’ in the Maniototo are a source of local pride—Burn 729am is the name given to a local radio station.
Maniototo people are often described as hardworking, generous, down-to-earth and resourceful. Their commitment to community reflects an independent, pioneering spirit—working together to get on and get the job done.
OUT HERE, YOU KNOW YOU’VE GOT TO `GET STUCK IN’ YOURSELF
Community projects generate enormous pride as resourceful locals do their utmost for their place, determinedly raising funds and working bees for developments such as the new $7 million Maniototo Hospital at Ranfurly.
Nowhere does this spirit come to the fore more than in sporting endeavours. A passion for sport is in the DNA—coupled with a gritty toughness that comes from growing up in this raw, out-of-the-way place.
The enthusiasm for a rousing, competitive sporting contest is embedded in the local psyche. On the sporting side-lines, whether it’s rugby or hockey, you’ll find neighbours, family and friends, egging on their team or catching up for a yarn. Parents are often coaches and drivers, spending hours and hours behind the wheel to get their kids to a game.
HERE, PEOPLE PUNCH ABOVE THEIR WEIGHT
There’s national representative hockey players, curlers and rugby players from the Maniototo, and success in codes such as cycling, athletics and cricket.
The grand ‘ole Scottish game of curling has been a tradition since Europeans first settled here. In New Zealand’s chilliest winters, players have gathered down through the years to enjoy curling’s friendly rivalry and traditions.
This century-long love of curling led to the establishment of the Maniototo International Curling Rink at Naseby in 2005. It is a source of pride that the southern hemisphere’s only international indoor curling rink was built at Naseby and not elsewhere. The community contributed around 6000 volunteer hours to get the job done, pitching in to raise money and help with construction. Managed by local curling enthusiasts, the rink is enjoyed all year round by visitors, locals and competitive international curlers.
Other recreational attractions in the Maniototo include cycling, walking, swimming and fishing.
The Naseby Forest recreation area is a delightful playground and refuge on the fringe of the Maniototo Plain. It’s a charming corner of green that bestows an enchanting, alpine feel to nearby Naseby town.