A snapshot of present-day Ashburton District will be preserved inside the new library and civic centre.
The contents of a time capsule to go in the new library, Te Pātaka o kā Tuhituhi, and civic centre, Te Waharoa a Hine Paaka, have been decided, with items detailing life in the Ashburton District in 2023.
A Heritage Mid Canterbury Working Group produced a final selection of items for the Ashburton District Council to sign off on Wednesday.
The group was praised for a tremendous job compiling the items that “fit the bill for the criteria”, Ashburton Mayor Neil Brown said.
The focus was for the items to be district-specific, people and facilities general manager Sarah Mosley said.
“We have got a good representative sample of items and objects that will stand the test of time.”
The items cover the formal background of the building, the built and natural environment, the people, and various time-specific objects.
The list of items had the support of the councillors with councillor Lynnette Lovett requesting the addition of a copy of the Rural Women’s recipe book.
The working group had discussed the book and as the recipes were “unlikely to be Ashburton specific”, they were not included, Mosley said.
The limitations of the size of the box were also considered in the decision-making process, councillor Carolyn Cameron, who was on the working group, said.
The working group considered items that may not exist in 50 years’ time which had Brown asking if a pack of cigarettes should be included.
It had been considered but “having a tobacco product or a vape inside of the time capsule would probably not be good for long-term preservation”, museum archivist Connor Lysaght said.
Lysaght described the capsule as “almost like a Russian nesting doll”, with a stainless steel inner box and wooden outer box that will be placed in the wall cavity.
The capsule will be placed for the official opening but will not be sealed until items relating to the opening are added.
The councillors decided opening date set for the time capsule will be in 2078, to coincide with the 200th anniversary of the Ashburton County Council, which is two years after the 200th anniversary of the Ashburton Borough Council.
Time Capsule contents
• All resolutions of the council regarding the design and construction of the building.
• Photographs from the official opening.
• Floor and elevation plans of the building.
• Large district map containing all road names.
• Aerial photographs of townships.
• Photographs with captions of significant facilities and places, district landmarks and significant events, reserves, flora and fauna, lakes and other natural landmarks.
• Environmental reports.
• Infographic report profiling the district’s population.
• List of clubs, organisations, churches, health and other facilities and services.
• Yearbooks from Ashburton College, Mount Hutt College.
• An item selected by Arowhenua rūnanga.
• Objects including facemask and vaccine pass, current monetary tender, council fees and charges list.
• The Hakatere Home and Heritage book which shows the growing ethnic diversity of Ashburton society.
• Examples of district-manufactured goods, eg socks, spinning wool.
• A test tube sample of seeds grown within the district and quantity facts.
• An edition of the Ashburton Guardian and community newsletters.
• The council is also set to run a promotion where people in the community can fill out a form at each council facility which asks “What’s the best thing about living in the Ashburton District”, their name and age.
- By Jonathan Leask