Twizel, New Zealand, Australia
Year1967latitude: ° 0'
longitude: ° 0'
Planning organization
Nationality initiator(s)
Designer(s) / Architect(s)
Design organization
Target population5,800
Town website
Town related

type of New Town: > scale of autonomy
New Town
Company Town
> client
Private Corporation
Public Corporation
> policy
Constructed 1968 as the base for the Upper Waitaki Power Development, the largest hydro project ever in New Zealand, Twizel was to be bulldozed once the construction scheme was completed 18 years later. Twizel was built by the Ministry of Works. Its layout was based on based an a Scandinavian concept used first in New Zealand at Mangakino, another hydro town, and modified at Odematata, the base for the Benmore and Aviemore power projects in the late 50s and early 60s. The plan covers 24 km of streets laid in a radial pattern going out from a central ring road called Mackenzie Drive. Shopping and sporting facilities are centrally located with green areas linking streets to provide safe pedestrian ways from the neighbourhoods to the town centre. The town was designed for a peak population of 5,800. In 1977 1300 sections were occupied. The inhabitants made a campaign to retain the city, and the government offered the town to the Mackenzie Country Council, complete with all facilities - shopping, centre, community complex, medical centre, church, fire station, sportsfield, heated swimming pool, service station etc.. More than 250,000 trees have been planted within the town, as part of a wider post hydro construction renovation. Today the population is around 1000, tripling in the summer because of tourism. The median income for people in Twizel is $14,100, compared with $18,500 for all of New Zealand, and the unemployment rate 4,7% compared with 7,5% for all of New Zealand (Statistics New Zealand, 2001).


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