Landmarks honour recognised at Hayes


A triple treat is in store at Hayes Engineering Works in Oturehua, Central Otago, early next month as the heritage property hosts an action-packed day on 4 February when the machinery is in full action, the naming of the site as an Otago Landmark Whenua Tohunga is recognised and, on Waitangi Day, the property is open free to the public.

Cyclists at Hayes Engineering

In December last year Hayes Engineering Works was one of 12 sites recognised as an Otago Landmark, the programme a joint initiative between the Ministry for Culture and Heritage, Department of Conservation and Heritage New Zealand.  The aim of the Landmarks programme ( is to showcase sites that embody the Otago region’s journey of discovery, prosperity and beauty.

"The recognition of the site as a Landmark adds another level to this Category 1 historic site which draws people from far and wide into its story of agricultural innovation, family resilience and skill and business success in an incredibly remote rural setting," says Hayes Property Lead Rebecca Reid. 

"This is the place where Ernest Hayes invented and manufactured agricultural labour-saving devices from the late 19th century, while his wife, Hannah, and their nine children were all involved in the enduring family business.

"Seeing the machinery, with its myriad of belts and pulleys come to life, on an operating day is quite a sight, and often leaves visitors quite spellbound."

The public operating day on 4 February is the second of four this year, with tours running on the hour from 10.30am to 3.30pm and the site open from 10am to 5pm.  Landmark recognition will take place at 1.45pm, with Central Otago District Council Mayor Tim Cadogan unveiling the Landmarks marker post and poet Brian Turner providing some verse.  Jazz music and a fencing demonstration will add a festive touch to the day.    

On Waitangi Day (6 February) Hayes will be one of 16 Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga properties nationwide offering free entry so the public can celebrate New Zealand’s national day by visiting a historic property near them.  While the workshop will not be operating on this day, the Hayes family enterprise will be on full show.

As well an exhibition of New Zealand flags will be flying with a copy of the Treaty of Waitangi on display, and an information sheet on Tapuwae – Heritage New Zealand’s vision for Maori heritage.

For more information:

Rebecca Reid
Hayes Property Lead
tel: 03 444 5801 or 027 499 4848

Check out Landmarks Whenua Tohunga

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