Her­itage build­ings an ‘an­chor point’

Central Leader - - NEWS -

What do pub­lic loos, a solemn World War II me­mo­rial and a colourful mo­saic mu­ral have in com­mon?

The build­ings have all been deemed as hav­ing her­itage sig­nif­i­cance by Auck­land Coun­cil. They are among 63 places added to the coun­cil’s her­itage sched­ule un­der the Pro­posed Auck­land Uni­tary Plan.

The pub­lic can have their say on the plan un­til sub­mis­sions close on Fe­bru­ary 28.

The coun­cil’s team leader of built her­itage John Brown says it is im­por­tant to make sure her­itage value is not lost in Auck­land.

‘‘They [her­itage build­ings] pro­vide that an­chor point in the en­vi­ron­ment to al­ways re­fer to and take own­er­ship of. It’s about recog­nis­ing that we all have a role as cus­to­di­ans and that it’s some­thing that we do in part­ner­ship with the city of Auck­land.

‘‘We’re look­ing to pro­tect these places of value that make Auck­land unique.’’

Mr Brown says about one quar­ter of the listed prop­er­ties are owned by the coun­cil and the rest are pri­vately owned or pub­lic in­sti­tu­tions. About 10 per cent are mod­ern build­ings like the Gra­ham St coun­cil build­ing and the Khar­toum Place women’s suf­frage me­mo­rial in the CBD.

All will be given na­tional im­por­tance un­der the Re­source Man­age­ment Act, he says.

But there are guar­an­tees build­ings

no will stay on the list af­ter pub­lic sub­mis­sions are taken into ac­count by the Uni­tary Plan’s in­de­pen­dent hear­ings panel.

Mr Brown says there will be nu­mer­ous hear­ings over the next two years be­fore a fi­nal de­ci­sion is made by the panel.

The Khar­toum Place mem- orial is likely to be a con­tentious con­tender.

The Na­tional Coun­cil of Women of New Zealand and the Zonta Club called for Khar­toum Place to be pro­tected in the district plan in 2010 af­ter at­tempts by the coun­cil and the city’s arts fra­ter­nity to re­move it.

In 2010 the coun­cil’s arts and ar­chi­tec­ture com­mu­nity wanted it re­moved so the Auck­land art gallery’s mul­ti­mil­lion-dol­lar up­grade could be ac­cessed by an open stair­case leading from the gallery to Lorne St through Khar­toum Place.

Four years ear­lier Dick Hub­bard’s coun­cil wanted to re­de­velop the area but, af­ter pub­lic outcry, Mayor Hub­bard stepped in and saved it.

NCWNZ Auck­land branch pres­i­dent Julie Fairey says the women’s coun­cil will be ‘‘ever-vig­i­lant’’ to se­cure the mu­ral as a her­itage item.

‘‘There are people who think it shouldn’t be there so we will be sub­mit­ting to the no­ti­fied plans. We know that there are people who would like to see it re­moved. They see it pri­mar­ily as a mat­ter of art not as a mat­ter of her­itage.

‘‘For the NCW the me­mo­rial, re­gard­less of artis­tic merit, has her­itage and cul­tural value and it was specif­i­cally de­signed to be in that place. To move it po­ten­tially would de­stroy it.’’

One­hunga His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety sec­re­tary Cyril Sk­il­ton is pleased the One­hunga build­ings have been recog­nised.

‘‘Any area should have some of its his­tory phys­i­cally on show. The his­tory is part and par­cel of the mak­ing of the com­mu­nity.

‘‘If you don’t re­mem­ber the past the chance of it be­com­ing a co­her­ent com­mu­nity is harder to come by.’’

Past pro­tec­tor: Auck­land Coun­cil her­itage team leader John Brown stands in front of the re­cently pro­tected Aotea Sea Scouts hall in One­hunga.

Dis­puted dis­play: Sup­port­ers of the Khar­toum Place Women’s Suf­frage Cen­ten­nial Me­mo­rial, built in 1993, would like to see it pro­tected in the long term. The mu­ral was part of na­tion­wide cen­te­nary cel­e­bra­tions mark­ing New Zealand be­com­ing the first self-gov­ern­ing coun­try to grant women the right to vote in 1893. It honours the Auck­land women who worked to­wards women’s suf­frage. It was de­signed and pro­duced by ce­ram­i­cist Jan Mor­ri­son and artist Clau­dia Pond Ey­ley.

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