Something missing at Cass


A few weeks ago my family and I visited Cass but something didn't look quite right.


We quickly realised that the 'CASS' signage had been removed from the railway station. 

Who had removed the signs, we wondered. Officials or thieves?

I decided to contact KiwiRail to investigate. On Thursday 2 June, their Operations and Charter Manager explained that the signs have been removed by their contracted maintenance provider in order to paint the building they were attached to. On completion of the work the signs will be reattached to the building. We should see the signs back up on Saturday.

If anyone is passing by and spots the signs back in place, do please tell us.

Here are two works from our collection depicting the Cass railway station, complete with signage.


Rita Angus Cass

'The word for a pass or saddle in Māori is nonoti or noti; Noti Raureka is the Browning Pass, not that far from Cass, which is closer in proximity to Arthur’s Pass. There’s a story about a woman named Raureka of the Ngāti Wairaki tribe on the West Coast. Raureka travelled to the east coast carrying a piece of pounamu [greenstone], which is a traditional story of how the eastern migrants found out about pounamu. I often doubt that explanation. By the seventeenth century, when Kāi Tahu were coming here, they knew about pounamu but not of the routes required to reach it. Finding a route to the West Coast was important. The man who becomes significant in that story is Te Rakitāmau, who features in the traditional accounts of the routes across the Alps. In later years, the Noti Raureka route was reserved for war parties and for freighting pounamu back to Kaiapoi. The Lewis Pass was preferred because it’s an easier walk with freight, and Browning is quite stiff.' —Sir Tipene O’Regan

(He Rau Maharataka Whenua: A Memory of Land, 17 September 2016 – 18 February 2017)