Un­cer­tain fu­ture for his­toric build­ing

Central Leader - - NEWS - By EMMA WHIT­TAKER

What is to be­come of a his­toric moun­tain top tea house un­der­go­ing earth­quake proof­ing work is yet to be de­cided.

The kiosk on the north­ern slopes of Mt Eden was closed fol­low­ing a struc­tural as­sess­ment in Fe­bru­ary which found the build­ing would be se­ri­ously at risk if it was hit by an earth­quake and was far from com- ply­ing with build­ing stan­dards.

Strength­en­ing work be­gan ear­lier this month and is ex­pected to be com­plete by March.

The kiosk was built in 1926 and has been used as tea rooms and a restau­rant.

Auck­land

Coun­cil’s

act­ing re­gional and spe­cial­ist parks man­ager Richard Hol­lier says the work will serve to main­tain the his­tor­i­cal in­tegrity of the kiosk and en­sure it can be re­opened to the pub­lic.

But he says it’s fu­ture use hasn’t been de­ter­mined. ‘‘There are many op­tions avail­able that will en­hance the vis­i­tor ex­pe­ri­ence on Maunga- whau (Mt Eden). This will be worked through with the Al­bert-Eden Lo­cal Board, iwi, the lo­cal com­mu­nity and in­ter­ested stake­hold­ers,’’ Mr Hol­lier says.

Lo­cal board chair­man Peter Haynes says the pre­vail­ing view of lo­cals is that the build­ing should be con­verted into a vis­i­tors cen­tre and maybe a cafe.

‘‘I per­son­ally would be quite happy to see the mana whenua run it be­cause of the way they have been treated his­tor­i­cally and the in­ad­e­quacy of the repa­ra­tion up un­til this point,’’ Mr Haynes says.

He says the fi­nal de­ci­sion would have to be re­served un­til co­gov­er­nor­ship has been es­tab­lished for the moun­tain.

But he un­der­stands that the kiosk would be used as a vis­i­tors cen­tre in the mean­time.

Mt Eden is one of 14 Auck­land vol­canic cones in a deed set­tled this year that vested their own­er­ship in the Ta­maki Col­lec­tive.

Un­der the agree­ment the moun­tains will be co-gov­erned by the Ta­maki Col­lec­tive along with coun­cil and Crown rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

Photo: EMMA WHIT­TAKER

What fu­ture: The his­toric tea kiosk on the north­ern slopes of Mt Eden is un­der­go­ing earth­quake strength­en­ing work but the fu­ture use of the build­ing is yet to be de­cided.

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