Past projects

 Past projects and funding

Since the  Community took over the lease of Quarantine Island in 1958, initially as the St Martin Island Community,  a huge amount of work has gone into making the island accessible and habitable!

Early community members describe “The climb from the jetty was difficult and overgrown,” “…a deep layer of solidified goat dropping had to be dug out of the milking shed.” and “…the main house (the enlarged Keeper’s Cottage)…the only building still in ‘fair condition’.”

The jetty has been extended.  The community built the Chapel.  The Lodge has been added to.  Composting toilets have been installed.  A very valuable and essential rainwater collection and storage system has been extended.  DSCF5024

The WW1 soldiers recreation rooms have been added to and transformed into the current Resident Keepers Cottage.  Extensive fencing has been erected to protect the regenerating native bush and provide a space for farm animals.

Huge amounts of volunteer work has gone into creating the beautiful, interesting, refreshing sanctuary that Quarantine Island/Kamau Taurua is to so many people.

Saving the ‘Married Quarters.’  New Zealand’s only remaining 2 storied wooden quarantine building.

This is the last remaining building in the 1870′s quarantine station, a large prominent 2 storied building which  once housed families in quarantine. The building had become very dilapidated, when a massive effort was put in to save and restore it, led by former keeper, Kathy Morrison. The building is now weatherproof and structurally sound – officially saved! Work is underway on the interior.  See Current Projects for more information on this.

We gratefully acknowledge – major financial contributions to the Married Quarters project (exterior) from Lotteries Environment and HeritageThe Otago Community Trust and Community Organisation Grants Scheme (COGS)  Perpetual TrusteesDunedin Casino

Contributions of materials, expertise  and labour for the exterior from Peter Mason, Dave Collett, South Bar, Naylor Love Construction, Bramwells Scaffolding,Resenes paints and the Zen Buddhist group. Thanks to Kathy Morrison (link to her section in Keepers, under The Island Story) and Guy Williams for overseeing and driving the project, particularly the initial stages.

Hard Work Restoring History of Quarantine

For the interior, thank you to: Lotteries Environment and Heritage, the Dunedin Heritage Fund, Sargood Bequest, Alexander McMillan Trust, Otago Community Trust, Peninsula Community Board, Chalmers Community Board, Thank You Charitable Trust, West Harbour Lions, Dunedin Casino, Zena Bracey, Kristen Bracey, Chris Brown, and Port Otago for grants  and donations. Also to our builder extraordinaire, Paul Clements, who clearly loves heritage buildings, a great problem solver, and able to help us stretch our funds, through his own generosity. Thanks also to Moana House; the Department of Conservation for their archaeologist, Shar Briden; and our previous Keeper/Manager, Don Hunter for project managing, transportation and labouring!  We would also like to thank Southern Clams, John McLachlan, and the Monarch for helping with transport of materials and volunteers. Finally, we would like to thank the many volunteers who cheerfully helped at working bees, and our special Heritage Open Day, and who have made the whole daunting undertaking, do-able and enjoyable!

To find out more about what was found during the archaeological monitoring of the excavation, read Shar Briden’s report







Access to the buildings from the Jetty

When the community first arrived on the island they had to scramble their way through bush up a steep hill to the historic buildings.  In the early years the community cleared a path from the jetty up the side of the hill to the ‘Lodge’ (old Keepers cottage from quarantine days).  This track still exists and is the most used access way.  It does get very muddy in the winter and is very vulnerable to slipping being steep with patchy ground cover.

It was decided that another access was needed making the route to the historic buildings a little easier.  Steps were cut and built from the jetty up to the current Keepers Cottage (originally the WW1 soldiers recreation rooms). Thanks to the Bendigo Valley Sports and Charity Foundation, Dunedin Amenities Society and the Bracey-Brown family for generous financial help with this. We have also recently improved access ladders onto the Jetty. Thanks to John McLachlan for this.

Water storage

We are dependent on catching and storing rainwater on the island. Thanks to the Sargood Bequest for providing funds to purchase the plastic 30000 litre tank, which supplements (and reduces vulnerability of ) the original concrete tanks which have some cracks and leaks. Thanks also to the Bendigo Valley Sport & Charitable Foundation for funding helicopter transport to bring the tank over to the Island, and to our volunteers, who carried over all the gravel and built the pad..

Lodge and Cottage maintenance and improvements

A lot of work has taken place to improve the Lodge over the years, but as funds and energy allow, we will continue to work on this. In December 2016, a Panasonic heatpump was installed in the Dining Room, thanks to a generous $3000 grant from Foodstuffs/Gardens New World, and a $600 discount from Panasonic.

In February 2013 the Community Council installed underfloor insulation in the Keeper’s Cottage, repaired the rotting southern wall of the cottage, and replaced a rotten window.  A big thank you to Kristen Bracey and Chris Brown and Peter Matheson for generous donations.

Survey of the Island and cemetery – University of Otago School of Surveying

In August 2016, Dr. Pascal Sirguey and Craig McDonnell conducted a survey of the Island using a combination of photos * captured by a Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS, a.k.a., drone or UAV) and ground survey.  This gives us up to date topographical data and aerial imagery of the island at unprecedented resolution, and will add to the understanding of the ecology and heritage features on the Island. A further ground survey of the cemetery took place in early 2017 and we are eagerly awaiting the results..

*The link takes a while to load and works best using Chrome