Feature - Methven - June 2019

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Methven Piwakawaka


METHVEN 14 Ashburton Guardian Ashburton Guardian 14


Saturday, June 15, 2019 Saturday, June 15, 2019


Methven ain’t no one-trick pony Nestled at the bottom of the Southern Alps, looked over by the majestic Mt Hutt, you’ll find a small township abuzz during the winter months and then in an almost sleep-like state during the warmer days. Best known as a tourist destination in the winter, thanks in large to the huge popular skifield less than an hour’s drive from the town centre, Methven is one of the places you get the real New Zealand from the moment you drive in through one of the town’s main access routes. It’s petite, nowhere near antiquated and full of friendly, down-to-earth, quintessential Kiwi folk who are friendly, warm and inviting. Perhaps it’s the fact that they open their doors to the world each year for around five months and allow the population of the town to stretch to more than double its normal size when Mt Hutt is open for

business, or it could be the fact that this small town on the edge of the Main Divide is just one of those places where you can go and automatically feel like you’re at home.

There’s also walking, cycling, archery, clay bird shooting, Lord of the Rings site tours, 4WD touring, jetboating, fishing, hunting and horse trekking along the incredible Rakaia River.

Methven was founded in 1869 by Robert Patton, he bought land and named it Methven after his hometown of Methven in Scotland

With more than a dozen cafes, restaurants and other eating establishments, there’s something for everyone and while the mountain plays the pivotal role in bringing people into the area, the town is not limited to being a one trick pony.

Methven was founded in 1869 by Robert Patton, he bought land and named it Methven after his hometown of Methven in Scotland. When the first settlers arrived, Methven was situated on an open tussock covered plain exposed to the elements. Maori settlers dubbed the town, Pi-

wakawaka after the famous New Zealand fantail. It’s the home of Rajah, New Zealand’s first police dog, his statue sitting proudly on the doorstep of the Mt Hutt War Memorial Hall, staking his claim as one of the most popular identities in the town’s history. Inside the walls of that very building sits the perfect experience for people to understand the strong rural background of the district as well as the mountain experience in the New Zealand Alpine and Agricultural Encounter. With the promise of exciting things on the horizon, such as the development of hot pools on the town’s boundary, there’s an exciting future ahead for the little town at the bottom of the mountain and with the prospect of a year-round reason to visit the area, things are only going to get better.

Methven at a glance.


Mt Hutt Memorial Hall Methven Licensed Café, Methven

• Open Tuesday - Sunday • Join us for Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch and Snacks • Serving Vivace Espresso • Home-made cabinet food • Fully Licensed • We can cater for private functions, events and fundraisers. • Social and Sports Club Events • Movie Meal Deals with Cinema Paradiso • Children’s Birthday Parties • Free Venue Hire

Call 03-302 8455 or arabicamethven@gmail.com

• • • • •

Function Rooms - Hall, Theatrette, Board Rooms Office Spaces - Short term, Long term Art Gallery - Local and International Artists Alpine & Agriculture Encounter – Interactive, Educational Attraction Hall of Memories – Display & Information WW1, WW2 For more information: Email: info@mthuttfunctioncentre.co.nz Website: www.methvenheritagecentre.co.nz

Mt Hutt Memorial Hall Methven, 160 Main Street

METHVEN www.guardianonline.co.nz


Saturday, June 15, 2019 Saturday, June 15, 2019


Ashburton Guardian 15 Ashburton Guardian 15

Take a walk around Methven The Methven Walkway opened in 1979, is 11 kilometres long, and is intersected by various country roads so that it is possible to arrange transport to avoid retracing one’s steps. The most basic feature of the walkway is the man-made Rangitata Diversion Canal, a dual purpose irrigation and hydro-electric channel carrying water from the Rangitata River to the Highbank Power Station on the south bank of the Rakaia River. Although shelter belts, drains, roads and bridges impinge on the immediate surroundings the walkway is given a certain grandeur by the natural panoramic backdrop of the Southern Alps. The walk, from beginning, takes three to three and a half hours and begins at the Methven i-SITE Visitor Centre. Those taking on the walk make their way down Chertsey Road to the Methven Cemetery, through the iron walk gate and then onto the A&P Association Showgrounds, walking through the ground’s central trees and then diagonally through to Barkers Road. From there it’s down the grass track verge on the outskirts of Methven where the walkway enters a drain reserve planted with evergreen exotic trees. Across Mt Hutt Station road the path passes by the Methven Racecourse. Walkers cross the drain twice via footbridges before reaching the Rangitata Diversion Canal which offers sublime unobstructed views of the neighbouring mountains. The bank of the diversion canal follows all the way to the end of the walkway beside the northern branch of the Ashburton River. Being on the plain the walkway is virtually on level ground and out in the open apart from the stretch within the drain reserve, although groups of trees have been planted along the canal and clumps of toi-toi soften the line of the banks. Along the way the route offers the chance for observation of many animals, in particular ducks, especially Canada geese and paradise ducks which frequent the waterway areas. As well as the ovious view of Mt Hutt, those using the walk are also treated to stunning views of Mt Taylor Range, the Pudding Hill Range, Mt Winterslow and Mt Somers. Midway to the Ashburton River Road bridge, the walkway crosses to the opposite bank of the canal before entering the pinic area at the river where the walkway ends. The walkway is sponsored by the local Methven Lions Club. As well as a keen path for walkers and runners, the walkway is a popular attraction for mountain bikers.


Three Hours

DISTANCE: 11 kilometres


On the outskirts of Methven, between the Ashburton and Rakaia rivers


Methven i-SITE visitor centre


Parking at the beginning and end of the walkway and at points between, where roads cross the canal. No facilities on the walkway

- Information sourced from Methven i-SITE

Methven Motels

CAFÉ 131 Delicious coffee! All day full breakfast and much more...

Open: Daily from 7.30am 131 Main Street, Methven Phone 03 302 9131

03-302 9314 30 Forest Drive Open 6 days Mon - Fri 10am - 4.30pm and Sat 10am - 3pm

Looking to buy or sell, come and speak with Maree or Rosa now!

Methven | Mt Hutt | New Zealand

197 Main Street, Methven, Mt Hutt Village, New Zealand PHONE +64 3 302 9200

P: 03 303 3093 E: info@methvenrealestate.co.nz W: methvenrealestate.co.nz


Ashburton Guardian

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Reconnecting with the community Two months into their tenure at the helm of the Methven Resort, new owners Olé and Bruce Wallis have only just begun to scratch the surface of what they hope to achieve with the long-standing Methven business. While they are aware there’s a lot of work to be done to convince the Methven community that the venue is up and running at full steam ahead, the pair are putting all their energy into pointing the attention toward their restaurant and bar, as well as trying to ensure that the massive complex is an all-year round spot for people to enjoy. The restaurant, known as Sojourn and the bar, Wayfarer, have been operational for a few weeks now and the feedback from the locals who have ventured in the door has been fantastic. “There’s no hiding from the fact that this place has been under-utilised for too long now,” Olé said. “Our goal is to reconnect the place with the local community and show them that this is more than just an accommodation venue, but also a place to come and enjoy a nice meal and have a quiet drink.” Like any facility offering food to customers, so much of the success hinges firmly on the success of the kitchen and the Methven Resort team feel they’ve got the right person for the job in head chef Rosella Mijs. From South Africa, but with a mix of Italian and German influence, Mjis has created a menu that both intrigues and amazes with a surprising twist of Asian flavours mixed in between. “She’s a very talented chef, and understands what we are trying to achieve here, which is critical to our success.” Olé is determined to ensure that what his business is offering to the people, and visitors, of Methven didn’t undermine anything that was already being done around the town.

Having that point of difference was hugely critical for him. “We can all be doing the same thing and somewhere along the way someone is going to lose out, it’s about creating something that makes us a choice, as opposed to just being an option. “Yes, we are an accommodation venue, but we are very aware that we need to keep the two quite separate if we want them to succeed.” The Methven Resort is offering dining options to the public for breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week with a wide-ranging menu on offer throughout the day. With the option of sitting on the north facing balcony, diners get the option of enjoying their meal with one of the best views in the township as the balcony faces directly towards Mt Hutt. Breakfast is served from 6.30am to 9.30am, lunch from 11.30am until 2pm and dinner from 5pm until late. With a restaurant that can seat 100 people, there’s plenty of room available. While operating under the premise of a bar, Wayfarer is being marketed as more of a place to enjoy a quiet drink after work, or for a group to get together and enjoy a few drinks and one of the platters that the kitchen offers. “We will welcome anyone along, but the goal is to try and make the bar a bit more relaxed, a nice spot to bring a client, or a few friends along for a drink or two at the end of the day as opposed to a fully functional bar with music and everything else.” With new owners, a new outlook and an already proven model including the 47 room, full service hotel with outdoor swimming pool and hot pools as well as function and conference rooms, there are exciting times ahead for the team at the Methven Resort. Advertising feature

UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT Methven Resort Hotel invites you to enjoy:

Wayfarer Restaurant, Bar and Cafe NEW MENU by Rosella Mijs Open daily for breakfast from 7am to 9am and dinner from 5pm Local Rate $5 for Hot Pools and Swimming Po ols

51 Main Street, Methven | 03 302 8724 www.methvenresort.com | booking@methvenresort.com


Ashburton Guardian

Saturday, June 15, 2019


Serving goodness with a smile As they approach their three year anniversary, the team at The Pantry in Methven are constantly looking to evolve to meet the ever-changing needs of the public they provide for. And in a town like Methven, that can often mean straying away from the normal and doing something completely out there, that no one else has even thought of. The business, which has become a mainstay on the Main Street, officially turns three next month and the focus for Victoria Totty and her team is firmly on being more than just your normal run-ofthe-mill coffee and food venue and working to the demands of the busy network of clients who roll in the door each day. The Pantry’s philosophy is simple good food, which automatically catches your eyes as you walk in the door and equally as good coffee. Oh, and service with a smile. Where they saw their key market coming from was those in the search of a takeaway coffee, as opposed to sitting down in the premises so most of their customers are on the go, whether it’s grabbing a drink and, or, something to eat on the run. There is still of course the option of sitting down and taking a load off for a while too for those in a slightly more relaxed manner. “Probably 80-90 per cent of our customers are looking for takeaway coffee,” Totty said.

“It seems to work well, they want their coffee on the go and their food heated and ready to walk out the door with them.” With a wide ranging array of food, treats and quick snacks, there’s plenty for everyone – but it’s their make your own sandwich option which really draws the crowds in. Customers have the option of designing their own sandwich, made with love and done at a reasonable price and Totty said it’s been really well received. With the ability to create something to eat to their own liking, customers are enjoying the opportunity to have a say what’s going in between their two slices of bread as opposed to heading into the unknown. “People seem to really love that option, just the chance to have what they want and it’s great to be able to chuck it in the lunchbox and take away for the day, or up the mountain. “It also gives us the option of being able to meet people’s dietary needs such as those who are gluten free and the like.” A new feature to the business recently is a feature wall, incidentally full of coffee mugs. Known as the Mug Wall the feature gives customers the option of choosing to take their drink in a fully-fledged cup as opposed to the more traditional recyclable version. The mugs can be taken away from the store, with a name and number given and then returned later in the day or once their

contents have been finished. “I was looking at new ideas on Instagram, as you do, one day and came across it, it seemed to work really well and I liked the idea of it so we’ve tried it out. “We’ve already got people who like to have a specific mug, but we’ve had to introduce getting a name and number as there were a few that weren’t coming back to us. “But everyone seems to really enjoy it as

an option, especially the businesses that are around us.” With the three-year mark set to be reached next month, what the next big plan for The Pantry might be is yet to be seen, but Totty just wants to keep serving a purpose to the Methven community. The Pantry is open seven days a week from 6.30am until 2pm. Advertising feature

Catering - Coffee - Fresh Food 121 Main Street, Methven Hours: - Monday – Friday 6.30am – 2pm Saturday - Sunday – 7am till 2pm



Saturday, June 15, 2019

The best is yet to come ... While there’s already a near perfect blueprint sitting there to make Methven a successful town in the Ashburton District, future developments look set to take things to a whole new level. With a hard working group of locals chipping away in the background to make one of the more focused points of the township The Mall, more vibrant, the big news might be on the outskirts of town with the development of a hot pools complex getting closer to being under way every day. While developers are not committing to a set opening date as they aim to raise enough money to fund the project, The Government’s Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) loaned $7.5 million in February, boosting both developers’ coffers and the town’s morale. But while an opening set for winter next year was reported at the time, now the provisional plan is to open in December next year. The $15 million hot pools project is

expected to add $162 million to the area’s economy over the next 10 years, as well as create 120 jobs. Branding is expected to focus around the purity of water sourced from the mountains, and the sustainability of heating coming from the sun. What has the locals most excited about the future is the possibility of Methven becoming an all-year round destination instead of its current reputation as being a winter resort town. The addition of the pools would not only give tourism numbers a boost, but also create more and more opportunities for new faces to move into the area to help service those needs. And, above all else, the prospect of sitting back in an idyllic setting while looking up the snow-covered mountains in the winter and the incredible Southern Alps in the summer is just an exciting prospect in itself. Watch this space!

Ashburton Guardian

Brown or Blue? It’s up to you Like Albert and Costello, Bert and Ernie and Waldorf and Statler it takes a special bond to stand the test of time as a combination,and the Brown and Blue Pubs in Methven certainly qualify. For decades the dynamic duo of the Methven social scene have stood proud and tall, they’ve watched others fall around them but largely stayed true to their core values. Both have withstood the power of fire, and of course of earthquakes and continue to adapt and change as times allow them to become two of the most iconic figures in the township. Owned by Deb Taylor and Trev den Baars under the banner of Methven Pubs, the two locations, while within a stone’s throw of each other, offer their services to two very different types of people for a large portion of the year. The Brown, known best for its hearty? locals, farming

folk and lovers of a good conversation over a cold beer along with a nice meal in the Mac’s Craft Bar & Eatery is the perfect relaxed environment. Across the road, the Blue Pub sits as the more vibrant, winter-loving venue with its famous live music, including some big name bands in the next few months (check out their Facebook Page for all the information) and is the perfect venue to sit down and enjoy a drink with mates after a big day on the slopes. Both venues offer excellent menus with good, traditional food which is largely sourced through local produce, offering visitors and diners alike to not only get a sense of Methven from the feel that both places give to those who walk in the doors, but also through taste as well. And, Kids aged 10 and under, eat for free! Advertising feature


An artist’s impression of the proposed hot pools complex in Methven. PHOTO SUPPLIED

DINNER + BEER + BED = $69pp FIND OUT MORE ONLINE - www.methvenpubs.co.nz

NOW ENROLLING BELIEVING AND ACHIEVING Our Lady of the Snows School nga wahine rakatira o te huka kura


Nestled down a tree lined driveway on the edge of the Methven township you will find a very special Catholic school, a safe and beautiful place where children learn, play and grow ... We feel positive that the smaller size of our school is a major factor in our ability to develop the self-confidence and ability of our students.


DINNER + BEER + BED = $69pp

To arrange a school visit please contact: Pattie Ree – Principal 027 531 7518




FIND OUT MORE ONLINE - www.methvenpubs.co.nz