As­sess­ing the value of her­itage

Central Otago Mirror - - OPINION -

Her­itage build­ings

Graye Shat­tky asks in his re­cent col­umn why we are los­ing our her­itage build­ings. An­other ques­tion he could ask is why we don’t lose other things of sig­nif­i­cant value that also de­fine us as a peo­ple. The an­swer in sim­ple terms is that peo­ple have dif­fer­ing value sys­tems. Some value new de­signs, oth­ers value older styles whether it be build­ings or works of art. Why is a Graeme Sydney art work un­der no threat of be­ing ne­glected or de­stroyed? We all know the an­swer to that. Mr Shat­tky presents us with a moral dilemma. Is the preser­va­tion of a her­itage build­ing more im­por­tant than warm hous­ing for the el­derly? Is pre­serv­ing a land­scape from de­vel­op­ment more im­por­tant than af­ford­able hous­ing for the less well off? Should we as a so­ci­ety spend scarce cap­i­tal on a scan­ner for Dun­stan Hospi­tal or on restor­ing those things we now call her­itage? I sug­gest that as long as we de­mand that other peo­ple must pre­serve “my” val­ues we will continue to lose those things that are in­deed im­por­tant. We are of­ten told that there are be­tween 30,000 and 50,000 peo­ple who strongly sup­port con­ser­va­tion val­ues in New Zealand. If all those locally and na­tion­ally who sup­port con­ser­va­tion on other peo­ple’s land, such as For­est and Bird, do­nated the equiv­a­lent of a tank of petrol an­nu­ally there would be more than suf­fi­cient money ( $3 mil­lion to $5m an­nu­ally) to buy and pre­serve her­itage val­ues that the Depart­ment of Con­ser­va­tion can’t. If we don’t fol­low that or a sim­i­lar line we con­demn these so-called in­tan­gi­ble val­ues to pic­tures of his­tory.

Pie cart

Gerry Eck­hoff Re­ports in our pa­pers from the Vin­cent Community Board meet­ing is that dis­or­derly be­hav­iour and wil­ful dam­age has de­creased in Alexan­dra, says Se­nior Sar­gent Ian Ker­risk. What about: Dis­or­derly be­hav­iour at the bot­tom end of Tar­bert St in which the po­lice re­sponded twice ( ODT, Au­gust 21)? and wil­ful dam­age around Or­chard Drive area ( Mir­ror, Au­gust 22)? As the pie cart is not oper­at­ing dur­ing these times and al­co­hol is in­volved who are you go­ing to blame for these in­ci­dents, Mr Ker­risk? Why is the fin­ger be­ing pointed to­wards the pie cart and its own­ers, con­sid­er­ing they are not li­censed premises? It seems to me that the pow­ers that be are look­ing for a scape­goat for prob­lems they can’t fix. The own­ers have acted re­spon­si­bly about any prob­lems in their area in the past. An­swer this Mr Ker­risk please, what de­ter­rents are in place to stop such be­hav­iour and in gen­eral why are bar man­agers al­low­ing pa­trons to be so in­tox­i­cated con­sid­er­ing al­co­hol is not to be served to drunks? Eileen Porter

Roxburgh Re­sponse from Cen­tral Otago Po­lice Sub Area Su­per­vi­sor Se­nior Sergeant Ian Ker­risk I agree that the Alexan­dra Pie Cart is a well-run lo­cal busi­ness. As pre­vi­ously re­ported by your pa­per, dur­ing my com­ments to the Vin­cent Community Board I was very care­ful to make clear that po­lice have no criticism of the pie cart op­er­a­tors. Alexan­dra’s 26.7 per cent over­all crime de­crease dur­ing July may have many rea­sons. Pre­vent­ing crime needs a community re­sponse and po­lice work closely with our community. Li­censed es­tab­lish­ments are reg­u­larly vis­ited by po­lice to pre­vent in­tox­i­ca­tion by their pa­trons and highly vis­i­ble pa­trolling is con­ducted by po­lice around Alexan­dra. Peo­ple are also no longer con­gre­gat­ing in the town cen­tre af­ter the li­censed premises close, re­sult­ing in amarked de­crease in anti-so­cial of­fend­ing when com­pared with the same time last year. What is most im­por­tant though is that the com­bined crime preven­tion work of po­lice and community is en­sur­ing Alexan­dra re­mains a great place to be.

Cromwell pays its way

There are some lines in the for­mer Cen­tral Otago Dis­trict Coun­cil Mayor’s col­umn last week ( Mir­ror, Au­gust 22) that are un­true and de­serve a re­sponse. He sup­ports the elec­tion of coun­cil­lors at large as against the cur­rent ward sys­tem and sug­gests that if elected at large, coun­cil­lors would not have let Cromwell hog all the re­sources while the Te­viot Val­ley and Man­iototo went down­hill. This is not true. Noth­ing has been taken from other wards to boost Cromwell. I would sug­gest the op­po­site is true. Rates for in­stance are split as fol­lows: ward rates are set by the lo­cal community board for wa­ter, waste­water, parks and such-like and stay in the ward. Dis­trict rates for things such as roads, li­braries, waste col­lec­tion are set by the coun­cil and are com­prised of three parts – a fixed charge in which we all con­trib­ute the same amount, a per­cent­age based on land value and a per­cent­age of cap­i­tal value. Given that an av­er­age home in Cromwell sits on land worth four times that of one in Roxburgh or Ran­furly and the cap­i­tal value is near twice that of the other two towns, it is easy to cal­cu­late that a greater share for each house­hold of the coun­cil’s fund­ing goes down the river and not up. Per­haps in his many years on the coun­cil and nine as mayor, Dr Macpherson should have ad­dressed the prob­lems he sees now. Gor­don Ste­wart CODC coun­cil­lor

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