Her­itage a community is­sue

Central Otago Mirror - - CENTRAL NEWS - By MARY-JO TO­HILL

A “su­per group” should steer the man­age­ment, pro­mo­tion and pro­tec­tion of Cen­tral Otago’s her­itage, dis­trict coun­cil­lor John Lane says. But it should not be the Cen­tral Otago Dis­trict Coun­cil, he told mem­bers at a coun­cil meet­ing. As the Cen­tral Otago Her­itage Strat­egy work­ing group’s chair­man who helped write draft pro­pos­als around the pro­tec­tion of about 270 sig­nif­i­cant build­ings and sites, Cr Lane was adamant that the community should drive the project, not the coun­cil. ‘‘We’ve given the community a num­ber of op­tions there­fore we are reliant on the sub­mis­sion process to get some feed­back on the draft strat­egy.’’ This con­tained a full in­ven­tory of lo­cal trea­sures in­clud­ing cot­tages and huts, bridges, war me­mo­ri­als, ho­tels, churches, old farm and re­tail build­ings, ruins, tail­ings and min­ing arte­facts, along with sig­nif­i­cant trees. He said it was im­por­tant that the coun­cil did not play a ‘‘big brother’’ role, or be seen to dic­tate to peo­ple how her­itage should be pre­served, par­tic­u­larly when some of the sites were on pri­vate land. Cr Lane saw the coun­cil be­ing one of sev­eral stake­hold­ers, with mem­ber­ship on ‘‘The Su­per Group’’ com­mit­tee which would run an or­gan­i­sa­tion to man­age, pro­tect, pro­mote and raise funds for her­itage preser­va­tion. Al­though it had paid $10,000 to draw up the draft strat­egy, the coun­cil would be lodg­ing a sub­mis­sion ‘‘along with ev­ery­one else’’ dur­ing the con­sul- tation pe­riod which closed on Septem­ber 14, he said. In an ear­lier in­ter­view with the Mir­ror Cr Lane said he saw a strong need for a pool­ing of her­itage ex­per­tise to save the re­gion’s trea­sures ‘‘that we all take for granted.’’ The draft strat­egy doc­u­ment con­tained 22 pro­pos­als about preser­va­tion of her­itage through community awards, de­vel­op­ing new her­itage events, es­tab­lish­ing a dis­trict-wide strat­egy for mu­se­ums, re­view­ing her­itage sec­tions in the Cen­tral Otago Dis­trict Plan, and to en­cour­age her­itage in chil­dren’s learn­ing through col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween schools, mu­se­ums and li­braries.

Photo: MARY-JO TO­HILL/FAIR­FAX NZ

Pro­posed: Cr John Lane’s Cen­tral Otago Her­itage Strat­egy work­ing group wants the community to take the lead in the preser­va­tion of the re­gion’s his­toric fea­tures we all take for granted.

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