on land that was once part of Ruataniwha Station, Twizel was
constructed as the base for the Upper Waitaki Power Development.
This scheme was the largest hydro project ever undertaken
in New Zealand , started in 1968 and completed 18 years later.
Twizel's layout is based on a Scandinavian concept first used
in New Zealand at Mangakino and modified at Otematata - base
for the Benmore and Aviemore power projects in the late 1950s
and early 1960s.
of streets were laid in a radial pattern from a central
ring road - Mackenzie Drive. Shopping and sporting facilities
are centrally located with green areas linking streets to
provide safe pedestrian ways to the town centre. Twizel
was designed for a peak population of 5,800 and there were
1300 sections occupied in 1977. Almost all facilities and
services that supported the town at the peak of the power
project remain, with others, such as the redevelopment of
Market Place and installation of solar heating at the swimming
pool , have been added since.
Twizel is a service and tourist town in the Mackenzie Basin
with a residential population of approximately 1200 people.
Popular as a holiday town, in summer the population more