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The Maitai Valley - Taonga o Whakatū

The iconic Maitai Valley extends from the inland ranges to the very edge of Nelson city.

Treasured by Generations 
The Maitai Valley has for centuries held a special place in the hearts of generations of Nelsonians. For tangata whenua it was somewhere to live; a source of food, pakohe (argillite) and a transport route. Early European settlers wrote home about the beautiful valley, the trees, the birds and flowers that grew there.  In 1897, Premier Richard Seddon could see the value of the Maitai Valley as a tourist resort “advantageous not only to [the Nelson] district but to the whole colony.”

The story of the Maitai Valley

The Maitai/Mahitahi River

The Maitai/Mahitahi River flows along the Maitai Valley and through the heart of Nelson before meeting the sea in Nelson Haven.

Its waters are home to many species and the river is of great spiritual, traditional and historical significance to local iwi.

The View Of Maitai Valley From The Centre Of NZ

Significant Landscape

In 2016 the Nelson City Council commissioned a report to evaluate the significance of Nelson’s landscapes.

The report found the Maitai Valley to be one of just three Significant Landscapes in the region, along with Tahunanui Beach and Nelson Haven.

High Landscape Rating

The NCC report states the valley has a landscape rating of High with the following attributes:
“Iconic and memorable inland valley landscape setting in close proximity to Nelson.”
“Strong picturesque scenic qualities in it’s lower reaches.”
“Coherent configuration of open space continues recreation access along the Maitai River.”

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