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EFFECTS OF THE PROPOSAL ON THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL REMAINS
The development of the proposal to generate electricity using the Parapara Hydraulic-sluicing Company’s infrastructure is still in its early stages and detailed plans of the work to be carried out are not available. For example, the exact route of access roads has not been determined and only approximate locations of the power station, tunnel headworks, etcetera, have been established. This makes it difficult to determine the exact nature of the effects of the proposal on the archaeological remains, but has the advantage of highlighting archaeological issues so that site damage can be avoided wherever possible, an approach Richard Lamb has indicated he is keen to pursue. There are three major ways in which the development will affect the archaeological remains: access roads, reuse of existing structures and the establishment of a power station.
Access roads need to be constructed to Richmond Flat, the exit of the tunnel and the power station site. There will also need to be access to the pipeline carrying water to the power station. Each of these roads will possibly affect archaeological sites, and Richard Lamb has indicated he will endeavour to avoid these wherever possible. The road into Richmond Flat is likely to follow existing roads for at least some of its length. This will inevitably involve some modification of these roads (some of which are archaeological sites in their own right). Within the Richmond Flat area and the gully above it, an access road will almost certainly cross the two water races mentioned above, and may affect unrecorded hut sites. There is also the possibility that this road could run across the tailings on Richmond Flat. This would be highly undesirable, as these tailings are relatively intact and undamaged, and, as such, possess high archaeological values. They also have significant historical values as they are a remnant of the only successful sluicings of the Red Hill Company. This company is important within the history of mining in New Zealand because of the effect it had on foreign investment in New Zealand (N. Mountfort, pers. comm.). As part of the work that will be undertaken in this area, a continuation of the access road may also have to be formed over an area of land on the true right of the Parapara River at Richmond Flat itself that is contained within a bend in the river. There is no evidence of sluicing in this area, but a nail plate has been found in here. It is possible that there is more archaeological material of a similar nature here.
The access road to the tunnel exit will be from where the Hit-or-Miss saddle was (M25 E2481000 N6050800) up the true right of the Glen Gyle Creek to a point below the tunnel exit.
Katharine Watson Archaeology July 2003 Page 9
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