2013 – Past and present usage of the Chelsea Estate dams

Tim Gillon and Grant Murray

Chelsea Estate is located on the edge of the Waitemata Harbour, and is only ten minutes drive from Auckland central business district. Within Chelsea Estate are four ‘low’ potential impact classification (PIC) dams, which cascade along Duck Creek. Three of the dams are over 100 years old and all dams were built from 1884 to 1917. The dams and the reservoirs have served, and continue to serve, several purposes including stormwater retention, recreational use and water supply for the adjacent sugar factory. In 2008 Auckland Council (AC) purchased the Chelsea Estate from the New Zealand Sugar Company (NZSC) and in 2009 the Estate was registered in the New Zealand Historic Places Trust (NZHPT). This paper discusses the history and functionality of the multi-function Chelsea Estate dams, the development of the site and how it impacts our understanding of the dams today.

Keywords: Chelsea Estate, multi-function dams, heritage dams.

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