Story: West Coast region

Opening of the Haast Road

Norma Holyoake, wife of Prime Minister Keith Holyoake, cut the ribbon to open the final section of the Haast road at Knights Point on 6 November 1965. The ceremony, held in heavy rain, was something of an anticlimax. A local resident cut the ribbon just before the Holyoakes arrived, necessitating to a hasty replacement – and the road was temporarily closed by a slip soon afterwards. Nevertheless, the Haast road had a huge impact on South Westland by reducing its isolation. The tourist industry grew rapidly, as it was now possible to visit the glaciers while making a circuit around the central part of the South Island. 

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Archives New Zealand - Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga
Reference: Pictorial Parade 172. National Film Unit, 1965

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How to cite this page:

Simon Nathan, 'West Coast region - Tourism and outdoor recreation', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/video/21155/opening-of-the-haast-road (accessed 30 September 2020)

Story by Simon Nathan, updated 1 Sep 2016