CO’s her­itage ap­proach fail­ing


Cen­tral Otago’s ap­proach to her­itage is not ‘‘fit for pur­pose’’ and with­out an op­er­a­tional over­haul the Cen­tral Otago Her­itage Trust ‘‘has no fu­ture’’, the trust chair­man says.

The trust was one of 244 sub­mit­ters to the Cen­tral Otago District Coun­cil an­nual plan, and one of sev­eral to make a sub­mis­sion in per­son at a hear­ing in Alexandra on Wed­nes­day.

Trust chair­man Graye Shat­tky said if the coun­cil did not sup­port a fund­ing ap­pli­ca­tion of $40,000 for the trust to em­ploy a part-time her­itage co­or­di­na­tor to im­prove her­itage out­comes in the re­gion - the trust ‘‘has no fu­ture’’.

‘‘It will then fall back on coun­cil to take some di­rect re­spon­si­bil­ity which I un­der­stand is not a de­sired out­come...Her­itage is a very im­por­tant re­source for all of us in Cen­tral Otago and it con­trib­utes to a great dal of our pros­per­ity and well­be­ing.’’

A strate­gic review, car­ried out by newly-ap­pointed trust co­or­di­na­tor, Alice Spiers, sug­gested the re­gion’s her­itage val­ues were ‘‘at risk’’ for its lack of a strong, integrated and co­he­sive struc­ture.

‘‘The Cen­tral Otago her­itage struc­ture, with some ex­cep­tions, is not fit for pur­pose or ca­pa­ble of meet­ing the con­sid­er­able chal­lenges of ef­fec­tively man­ag­ing the district’s her­itage,’’ she said.

Fun­ders were also con­cerned by both the num­ber of her­itage groups in Cen­tral Otago seek­ing sup­port and the ap­par­ent lack of a co­he­sive and col­lab­o­ra­tive her­itage com­mu­nity with a col­lec­tive sense of pri­or­i­ties.

Trust mem­ber David Ritchie said go­ing for­ward the re­gion needed a co­he­sive and co­or­di­nated ap­proach to her­itage which was not cur­rently hap­pen­ing.

‘‘There are a num­ber of projects out there which do re­quired fund­ing. Through dis­cus­sions with fun­ders they want an over­view of her­itage to pro­vide con­text to make de­ci­sions which is not avail­able at the mo­ment.

‘‘We pro­pose the her­itage trust, or an­other body, over­sees her­itage through the re­gion.

‘‘All the her­itage groups still have their in­de­pen­dence but they should come via the trust to be iden­ti­fied as to where they fit within the over­all her­itage en­vi­ron­ment.’’

The cur­rent her­itage ap­proach was ‘‘hand­i­cap­ping’’ a lot of groups, he said.

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