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The world's biggest corrugated iron 'sheep and ram' buildings, which helped An aerial view of the sheep, ram and dog site in Tirau. Share on. See traveler reviews, 88 candid photos, and great deals for Tirau, New time, it made us communicate and work as a team,it's made our relationship even . Although not a high likelihood, the Sheep and Dog in love can find a way to work out a relationship. The Goat can be one of the most attractive and pleasant.
He now has a full-time assistant and twin workshops, with the second 8m x 12m bay devoted to taking corrugated iron to forms undreamed of by its manufacturers. The first bay is dedicated to his passion for Mercedes G-wagon modifications. Working only by commission, the three-man team his wife does the administration has constructed thousands of Creations. From the entrance signs at Wellsford and Warkworth, a huge range of corrugate work in Tirau and kiwis in Otorohanga, to as far South as the Whistling Frog in the Catlins It is much more stimulating to build the largest pukeko in the world — and then try to erect it in a swamp in Otorohanga.
Or experiment with different things to make a string of pearls on a stiletto-wearing pukeko for a jewellery shop in Tirau.
Then maybe a cow which would make a triptych.
While the Dog is on a wooden frame and was constructed in situ, the Ram was built on a galvanised pipe frame in the workshop.
More recently a 4. Shipping being a substantial portion of the final cost, the rooster was made to the maximum size that could be crated into a container. Three double-sided tail feathers and a front wing were removable, but able to slot into the internal pipe frame on installation and were packed down into a custom crate. Internal pipe sleeves were built into the frame so the Rooster could be slipped over foundation poles — contrary to his usual practice of building the footings into the Creation itself.
Ray sees the assembly of cultural markers in European rural areas as a key response to external neo-liberal and post- industrial, consumer capitalism: The search for such local speciicity turns attention to the markers of local cultural systems and we are currently witnessing an unprecedented proliferation of initiatives in which local cultural resources are seen as the key to improving the social and economic well-being of local rural areas.
Ray has proposed a typology of modes to indicate how areas may focus efforts more or less on local or external arenas of activity. Through his papers, Ray a; b notes that such responses rely on the operation of a culture economy that is embedded in local particularity. He shows how the mobilisation of local knowledge as cultural resources are highlighted, reworked and promoted through different identities and territorial repertoires. The components of a repertoire will thus be represented by the markers of the culture: Ray tracks the concept of a cultural economy from three sources and emphasizes Panelli, Stolte and Bedford that culture economies will be locally and often territorially embedded.
These developments in the European context are occurring as part of formal EU policy and strategies that provide resources for local regions and populations2. New Zealand experiences provide a contrasting situation by which to consider the notion and practice of building culture economies. In this case, the formal tying of culture and economy to locally differentiated cultures and resources does not occur in the same way.
While some industry strategies and different regional based commodities and economies can be identiied in New Zealand e.
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Instead, we argue there is also some value in recognising how less historically-rooted or territorially- speciic features of culture and economy are also collected and mobilised in locally embedded ways.
While Ray and others briely acknowledge that landscape may be part of the resources that local cultural economies promote in their identity formation or territorialisation of an economy, no focussed analysis of landscape has emerged to date. In contrast to the numerous studies of gastronomy and food circuits connected to different local or regional identities, there is a dearth of work looking at the links between landscapes, identity and economy.
Darby and Crump as examples of exception. Consequently, we suggest landscape analysis in studies of rural change and increased commodiication are valuable for at least two reasons.
First, as Ray and Marsden have noted, rural development and local responses to globalisation processes and neo-liberal state operations in advanced consumer capitalism have a spatial dimension. In the past, signiicant rural geographies have been written on the reorganisation and revaluing of rural space as it is reproduced for consumption interests Lowe et al.
We contend that the addition of a landscape approach will complement such efforts since notions of landscape enable the recognition of the socially embedded and culturally signiicant construction of the countryside and speciic, individual, rural settlements.
Landscapes, as the product of these constructions, are important as they both relect and contribute to local identities, cultural values and social power relations. We suggest that further consideration of built environments, especially rural townscapes can provide an additional fruitful ield of analysis.
Second, to understand the importance of landscapes, we turn to the work developed by contemporary cultural geographers Gregory Geographers have long recognized the constructed nature of landscapes, noting that different social and economic relations produce and reproduce landscapes continually. A more recent focus is the partial nature of landscapes and how they relect dominant cultural The reinvention of Tirau values.
Whether they are materially constructed as a physical countryside e. In this way landscapes can be conceptualised as texts, which can be read for the cultural meanings they hold Duncan Geographers have also noted that in some cases landscapes are purposefully produced as symbolic landscapes which can be read as strategic texts to understand the meanings and power plays occurring within that society Cosgrove and Daniels ; Barnes and Duncan In the case of rural landscapes, the societies and interests that promote certain symbolic landscapes may be land owners, entrepreneurs or local government units Mitchell ; Crump At other times, a raft of commercial through to artistic and literary interests have been shown to underpin townscapes that have been purposefully remade as a subset of rural landscapes for the consumption of tourist populations e.
Our interest therefore rests in the way a townscape as one form of commodiied rural landscape highlights the reconstitutions that can occur in a local place. These broad conceptual ideas of landscape encourage a reading of rural change as it is reproduced through townscapes. But we draw further on the work of cultural landscape theorists to recognize that landscape can even be conceived as a theatre Cosgrove and Daniels ; Cosgrove In our case below, we note how a landscape of decline is reconstructed as a stage for tourism-related business interests.
Yet the symbols and sites of signiicance in the town become both key economic props and sites of contention amongst different local interests Cosgrove and Jackson In our case, we document the townscape in two scenes where economic props differ and speciic sites become iconic for the town while also attracting some disparagement. In sum, literatures that have informed our work have encouraged ongoing investigations into the identify formation processes and culture economies that Panelli, Stolte and Bedford can be used to frame rural change.
But we have argued that landscape approaches provide a means of reading the material and symbolic arrangements of local places, noting how changing landscapes register both the meanings of those constructing the changes and the traces of those who might contest these. In the following discussion we outline one speciic study of rural change and provide a reading of the townscape that registers this occurrence.
The district economy is one based on agriculture and forestry and the towns in the area are based on manufacturing and processing associated with these industries Ministry of Economic Development There is also modest growth in employment associated with recreation and adventure tourism activities that have developed in — and adjacent to — the district e.
South Waikato District Council Speciically, Tirau represents the increasing mobility of people, the delocalisation of economic activity, the specialized uses of rural space such as tourist sites, and the inclusion of temporary and resident people who inhabit and participate in a rural area. While the district-wide economy is dominated by agriculture, forestry and processing associated with these industries3, the local Tirau economy has become more linked to visitor and tourist populations that stop daily and often equal that of the resident population, and regularly double it in peak summer periods.
There appears to be no written information available about the history of indigenous Maori in the area. From this, one could understand that the area was important to Maori in terms of food production.
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European settlement occurred in when the centre became a military post Long In the following decades, Tirau became an important coaching centre enroute to Rotorua and the servicing of travellers has been an important economic activity ever since Waikato Times Today the main highway runs through the centre of the town and Tirau is located close to the intersections of ive major highways see Figure 1. Eventually, a highway bypass may be built as the current road scheme is detrimental to safety.
The land was fertile and productive allowing for a mix of sheep, beef and dairy farms. The development in farming resulted in the development of local industry and public services. However, the proximity of larger towns Matamata pop.
The reinvention of Tirau Until the mids the local Tirau population was sustained by demands for labour in the dairy factory, the meatworks and a roading depot. The majority of businesses in Tirau were directed towards servicing the residents, and the various visitors and travellers passing through the town Stolte and Lidgard Tirau and surrounding district The wider economic and agricultural down turn of the s had a great effect on the town of Tirau, and public sector restructuring and downsizing had an especially large impact.
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By the end of the s, Tirau was literally a ghost town of empty shops. This was not unusual in rural New Zealand see parallel accounts of other centres, e. Wilson ; Conradson and Pawson What was less common, however, was the success with which Tirau has effectively reversed its fortunes. In the following section we present an account of these changes by reading Panelli, Stolte and Bedford the changing townscape of Tirau.
The data presented here are drawn from a two-year investigation of the area Bedford et al. This work sought to examine the dynamic interrelationships between changes in agricultural systems and rural communities in the central North Island, within the wider context of social and economic transformation during the period.
The case study of Tirau led to a preliminary research report Stolte and Lidgard that documented the major changes and a graduate research project Stolte that examined whether the economic and social changes in Tirau had created new sets of power relations.
The empirical data in the Tirau case study came from interviews, landscape analysis and discourse analysis of secondary texts e. The twelve semi-structured, in-depth interviews were conducted with key actors in the community including: To present our indings, and in keeping with the previously noted conception of landscape as theatre Cosgrove and Daniels ; Cosgrovewe provide an account of the townscape in two scenes. Attention to these scenes enables us to emphasize the purposefully constructed nature of the townscapes as they have been assembled for different reasons at two constrasting times.
While larger centres were close by, Tirau was the seat of local government for the Matamata County Council see Figure 2and it was also the local service centre for a number of agriculture-related activities. Ina milk skimming station had been established.
Stock sale yards were erected in the s, a butter factory was built in the late s and a casein factory was established in the s Jensen ; Waikato Times Alongside these agriculture-related activities, the Council — with its administrative and works functions — was the largest employer in the area. The resultant townscape was one symbolising local authority Figure 2rural industry and services Figure 3. Until the early s Tirau looked much like any other small rural centre in New Zealand.
The town scene was set with props and sites that demonstrated its administrative and service function. This included the agricultural-based infrastructure and businesses, the local government buildings and depot, and local shops and services: Changes to The reinvention of Tirau Figure 2: Matamata County Council Ofices Source: Waikato Timesp.
An early streetscape of Tirau as a service centre Source: Farmers and local communities in rural New Zealand faced a reduction in support and subsidies for agriculture, together with local government reform and the development of neo-liberal economic rhetoric Cloke ; ; Wilson ; Johnston ; Liepins and Bradshaw Farming changed as sheep and beef industries became less proitable and pastoral activities contracted. However, in contrast to some areas of severe decline, a major increase in dairying occurred throughout the South Waikato district.
Farms were converted and many smaller ones have been absorbed into increasingly larger units Interview 5: These changes altered the landscape of the surrounding countryside as shearing sheds and associated yards became increasingly redundant and milking complexes were built for the growing dairy herds.
Within Tirau itself, the s saw the closure of many services and retail outlets as local economic activity contracted and became concentrated in the larger nearby centres.
Furthermore, following the Local Government Amendment Act the Matamata County was disestablished as local county councils across New Zealand were amalgamated into larger units. Tirau became a part of the South Waikato District, which had its council ofices in the township of Tokoroa.
The political and symbolic signiicance of this change in the administrative landscape was not lost on local people. Local reaction to the restructuring was negative, especially from those who had long involvement in the council and saw the loss of social interaction and business as the council ofices closed: Following the loss of the council, the post ofice, bank and supermarket closed and other local retail activities contracted.
The hardware store providing farm supplies also closed down and local farmers and sharemilkers looked to the larger centres for their services, chemical supplies, electrical parts, fertiliser and stock transport Interview 7: So there is a lot of competition. Relections of local residents echo the physical townscape of the time: They lost ive accounts from our family when they moved. In the case of Tirau, however, decline has not been permanent or irreversible. Indeed, as will be shown below, the past decade has seen the partial reconstruction of the town: Its historic identity as a traditional farming centre with a small-town service culture has changed and a consumption and tourism- based culture has stimulated new initiatives in some sectors of the local economy.
These changes can be read in the contemporary townscape of Tirau: While many small rural towns in New Zealand have faced contractions in their population Tirau has not only retained its population but grown very slightly9.
Local business units were established to target passing trafic and engage the signiicant tourist market Wall ; Stolte and Lidgard This can be tracked through the growth of local businesses aimed at consumption, recreation and tourism. Some locals identify the turning point as the opening of an antiques shop in the former grocery store — see Figure 4: You never used to get that. People used to just drive through. Before there was just two or three if you were lucky. The irst antique shop in what had been the grocery store Source: Together these published and lay discourses record that which is also visual.
The material and visual change in the townscape associated with the changing retail economy of Tirau is an immediately apparent feature of the town.
Indeed the wider South Waikato District Council makes a point of highlighting this when differentiating Tirau from other centres in district: Furthermore, the stafing of these new consumer-oriented shops and services is based on both local voluntary and paid labour.
While regular full-time work remains focussed on agriculture, forestry and processing jobs beyond the immediate township a buoyant casual labour market exists in association with the retail services that have opened in recent years.
These paid jobs are mainly taken up by local women although demand often outstrips local labour supply. The irst The reinvention of Tirau was built in the shape of a sheep see Figure 5. It contains a wool and textile craft shop. It houses the information centre and public toilets. While the structure resonates with the farming history of the local area — and the need for the ubiquitous farm dog — the council has been clear about identifying this as an illustration of both local community and entrepreneurial effort.
The oficial district web pages note: What began as an idea for new public toilets ended in the creation of one of the most striking information centres in New Zealand. The dog was designed to complement the internationally famous sheep that houses a wool and craft shop and is a key landmark of the bustling Tirau shopping centre.
The dog was designed and built by the Tirau community with funding from the South Waikato District Council. The Information Centre is beautifully decorated with wall to wall murals depicting the South Waikato landscape, contains clean toilets as well as all the information you will ever need on how to have a great time in this fabulous district. Without doubt, the economic and cultural importance of farming has been enormous for Panelli, Stolte and Bedford the country, and the local South Waikato region.
But in Tirau these symbols are reassembled as icons of a past history and a new economy focussed on consumption and tourism. They acknowledge the farming history, yet their erection has had strategic cultural and economic functions that are aimed predominantly at creating a spectacle to stop the passing trafic and provide a place of recreation and rustic consumption. Both residents of the town and those involved in the long standing agricultural industries equally emphasized their importance: The corrugated iron Dog.
They are a real landmark. Tirau is the place to be. A lot of people stop here now. It has been made into a The reinvention of Tirau destination — a place to stop. Cumulatively, the material and symbolic landscape changes and the new businesses have produced an emerging entrepreneurial and consumption culture in the town that differs from previous years see Figure 7.
The local business people recognize the emerging business culture of the town and the locational advantage of Tirau that attracts new ventures that can capitalize on the passing trafic: It is doing things. There are a lot of people with ambitions. As noted earlier, landscapes may portray dominant values and uses that a population constructs, but they are also a medium through which social and power relations are challenged or at least questioned Mitchell These tensions arise since change in the landscape is not just a material alteration of the visual townscape, but a symbolic change in the identity and function of the town.
The story of loss in the s, and the contraction of infrastructure and services for the long-term Panelli, Stolte and Bedford local residents has not been changed by recent events. It is wonderful for the shopkeepers!
It used to be a dead town. However, the changed townscape and identity of the town has not been uniformly appreciated. The social relations within the town have changed and the experiences of some residents have deteriorated as the popularity of Tirau has grown with visitors and more tourist-oriented ventures have developed Stevenson