Build­ings must be pro­tected

Matamata Chronicle - - Out & About - LAWRENCE GULLERY

A mem­ber of the Mata­mata His­tory So­ci­ety has re­luc­tantly con­ceded the town’s memo­rial cen­tre needs to be de­mol­ished.

Joan Stan­ley said she un­der­stood the cen­tre, bor­ough coun­cil build­ing and li­brary did not meet tough build­ing stan­dards up­graded after the Christchurch earth­quakes but hoped the his­tory of the build­ings would be recorded and shared for the public to see.

‘‘The his­tory of the build­ings es­pe­cially the old bor­ough coun­cil of­fices should be recorded and dis­played in the new build­ing.

‘‘The Roll of Hon­our of those Mata­mata peo­ple who served over­seas in World War II should be kept and dis­played in a prom­i­nent po­si­tion too.’’

Mat­mata-Pi­ako Dis­trict Coun­cil plans to de­mol­ish the memo­rial cen­tre, for­mer bor­ough coun­cil build­ing and li­brary, to construct a new $6m civic cen­tre in its place on Tainui St.

Stan­ley said she could not com­ment on be­half of the His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety as she was no longer its sec­re­tary but was happy to speak as a mem­ber of the group, and as a per­son who has writ­ten or edited a num­ber of his­tory books about Mata­mata.

She said the main struc­ture of the cur­rent Mata­mata Bor­ough Coun­cil build­ing was con­structed in 1940 and was of his­tor­i­cal value.

‘‘I would have liked to have had this in­cor­po­rated in some way, at least the fa­cade, in the new pro­posed civic build­ing.

‘‘Also [she would have liked] the in­clu­sion and pro­tec­tion of the ceno­taph put up in 1926 in front of the orig­i­nal town hall on the apex of where Arawa St and He­tana St meet. This was moved to stand in front of the memo­rial cen­tre when it was built in 1956.’’

Stan­ley said there are a num­ber of other build­ings around town which needed to be pro­tected to en­sure the char­ac­ter of ‘‘early Mata­mata’’.

‘‘The old Bank of NZ is the main one but many of the build­ings should have their fa­cades above the ve­randa pre­served. There are also his­toric houses in the area.’’

More in­for­ma­tion and a copy of the plan for the new cen­tre can be found on the coun­cil’s web­site:­matapi­ako-civic-and-memo­rial-cen­tre

The Bank of NZ build­ing is an ex­am­ple of a build­ing rep­re­sent­ing Mata­mata’s ‘ear­lier pe­riod’.

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