The former hydro town of Twizel is the subject of Massey Honours student Ella McDiarmid’s recently published photobook Twizel.

Ella writes:

“Twizel is a photo documentary project that explores the concept of ‘home’ through an exploration of the town Twizel; located in the heart of the Mackenzie, South Canterbury, New Zealand. This project investigates its short but rich history from the days of being a Ministry of Works town, through to all the new expansions in housing subdivisions and other infrastructures. Twizel focuses on the people who reside there, as they are one of the fundamental reasons this town still lives on. After completion of the Upper Waitaki Hydro Scheme in the mid-1980’s, the Twizel houses were meant to be relocated and the town non-existent. But the residents fought for this town to remain in the Mackenzie Basin. The people hold a fundamental part in this photobook as without these people wanting to choose Twizel as their home, there would be no Twizel”.

For orders or to learn more visit Ella’s portfolio.

Images l to r:

  1. Leah, standing on Man Made hill looking over Mackenzie Park subdivision.

  2. Book cover.

  3. Looking down one of the many canals in Twizel, towards the Southern Alps.