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Editorial

We all await the revised plans for Hotops Rise

April 19 2021 by Karen Boulay, Jay Cassells

We all await the revised plans for Hotops Rise

Hotop’s Rise is named for Ludwig Hotop

 

He was born in Germany. He settled in Queenstown in 1867 and was registered by the Otago Provincial Government as a” vendor of poisons” in 1873. (He worked for Hallenstein & Company and bought its  pharmacy on the corner of Rees and Ballarat Streets.)


Hotop was mayor of Queenstown three times between 1880 and 1906. He was a passionate tree planter and  largely responsible for the plantings around the lake  and  town. He succesfully moved the introduction of Arbor Day in 1890.

 

In 1873 the Queenstown Gardens were set aside by the first council as a plantations reserve for the community. This was a quite  extraordinary act of foresight.


Over the 150 years since, generations of locals have battled to ensure that this foresight was honoured. The Guardians of the Gardens, often led by redoubtable women including the tireless Margaret Templeton, (“Mrs T “), literally saved the Gardens from several external development threats.There are plaques recording this on a path to Hotop’s Rise.

 

Locals would also roll up their sleeves to look after the Gardens and Hotops when times were tough and there was no money for maintenance of these reserves.

 

The threats continue today but they are no longer only external.

 

Recently, under a version of the Council’s Gardens Management Plan, the Rose Garden was marked for removal.


The Friends of the Gardens (FoG) was established to continue the tradition of conservation of the Guardians and to provide for the community to have a say in the management of our reserves.

 

 This is very important for our renewed visitor economy as well as for residents’ wellbeing.

 

QLDC consultation with FoG is much appreciated and very many hours to do so are given up every year by unpaid volunteers.

 

However, regarding Hotops Rise, it must be said that, had FoG not questioned the many “X” marks on the trees, QLDC would not have appreciated how many and how much amenity were to be lost. There had been no opportunity, e.g. via public notices or meetings,  for the wider community to consider the merits or design alternatives for the combined cycle/pedestrian path through Hotop’s Rise and a new bridge.

 

We all await the revised plans.

 

The demands on volunteers (and QLDC) become ever greater.

We ask all who care about the Gardens and reserves to be vigilant.

FoG welcomes any support to help inform QLDC and to get feedback from the wider community.

Not everyone has the time to wade through all the Council plans or submit.
Please get in touch: friendsofgardensandreserves@gmail.com.

 

Thanks to all who have rallied around –again.

- Karen Boulay, Jay Cassells