Heritage a community issue
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.
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.