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Twizel

Twizel is the largest town in the Mackenzie District, in the Canterbury Region of New Zealand's South Island. The town was founded in 1968 to house construction workers on the Upper Waitaki Hydroelectric Scheme. Twizel has a resident population of during the summer, holidaymakers nearly triple the town's population.HistoryThe present town was built in 1968 as a greenfields project to service the Upper Waitaki Hydroelectricity Scheme. The name comes from the nearby Twizel River, in turn named for Twizel Bridge in Northumberland by John Turnbull Thomson, Chief Surveyor of Otago in the mid 1800s.The Waitaki hydro scheme consisted of 50 km of canals, two dams, and four powerhouses (Tekapo B, Ohau A, B and C), and the formation of Lake Ruataniwha, producing 848 MW of electricity. At the height of the project in the 1970s, population peaked of around 6,000.The town was laid out in a 'Scandinavian' fashion, featuring looping roads and pedestrian ways, making it usually far more direct to walk than use a car. Shops, school, and recreational parkland formed a hub in the centre of the town, around which the residential area were built. A previous version of this layout had been tried at Otematata. Accommodation was highly segregated: in addition to single men's quarters in the middle of town, there was a series of different houses available, with the smallest for workers, staff houses for teachers and professionals, and the largest for engineers and other high-status residents.
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