A rich tapestry
Central Otago value: Having Integrity
Preserving Central Otago’s rich heritage means respecting and appreciating what’s gone before and keeping things real. It’s being open and honest about who we are and where we want to be, yet also acknowledging the complexities and contributions of the past.
“When we talk about heritage I like to look at it from a landscape point of view and then in terms of the cultural layers that have gone across that. So, you’re looking at pre-Māori, Māori, European, pastoral farming and gold mining…to more recent activities such as viticulture and orcharding.”
“It’s about describing that tapestry with integrity so that people can make an informed decision about how they propose to use that going forward.”
A Living Heritage
Central Otago Value: Protecting Our Rich Heritage
At the heart of Matt’s work is an aspiration to respect, protect and celebrate the uniqueness of Central Otago’s landscapes, flora, fauna and people. He feels a spiritual connection here that’s shaped by the empowering, energizing semi arid landscape with its rare and unique adaptations.
“I’m very aware of my surroundings and environment. I think a lot of it has to do with meditation and the fact that we are living organisms in a living environment…it’s about being real and engaged.”
“It’s a matter of developing solutions that preserve and manage heritage but allow people to engage and experience in those things in meaningful adaptive reuse…but in a way that ensures and preserves the historic features and values into the future.”
Central Otago Value: Making A Sustainable Difference
The `mother and father to us all’ is how Matt describes our environment. It sustains and preserves us and we’re not looking after it well. He sees the need for robust conversations that go beyond sustainability to deliver resilience in what we do and how we do it.
“As an archaeologist I get to look at a lot of early photographs. I look at photographs of where I live and at the footprint and the changes we’ve made…and I just have grave concerns over the size and scale of that footprint and what we’re passing on.”
“I’m very, very uncomfortable about how we are borrowing forward at an incredible rate and depriving our future generations. It begs the question as to what sort of ancestors do we want to be remembered for?”