Look­ing af­ter our her­itage


Her­itage Wairarapa was launched by Wy­att Creech, chair­man of Her­itage New Zealand last Sun­day at Pa­pawai Marae.

The new or­gan­i­sa­tion is ded­i­cated to in­form­ing, ad­vis­ing and ed­u­cat­ing about the ex­ten­sive and unique her­itage of the Wairarapa. There is a lot to celebrate and ed­u­cate about. In 2018, a Paul Dib­ble sculpture will help us re­mem­ber the 60,000 troops who went through the Feather­ston Camp. The re­lated An­zac Hall has been re­fur­bished. Grey­town Town Hall is con­served. Mart­in­bor­ough is fol­low­ing suit.The old and the new work­ing com­pat­i­bly to­gether. All good and there is more.

How­ever, Her­itage NZ (formerly New Zealand Historic Places Trust) is now part of a govern­ment de­part­ment be­cause of the Her­itage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Act 2014. It is no longer au­ton­o­mous. Power lies with dis­trict coun­cils who have con­trol over what is deemed her­itage and what can be done with or to her­itage places. The three Wairarapa dis­trict coun­cils each have her­itage lists and rules op­er­at­ing un­der the Com­bined Dis­trict Plan. Her­itage Wairarapa wants to work with the three coun­cils and with other or­gan­i­sa­tions to en­sure the her­itage of our re­gion is given proper con­sid­er­a­tion and there is a solid link be­tween the community and its gov­er­nance.

Top of the agenda will be to check her­itage lists are com­plete and ap­pro­pri­ate.

Sec­ond may be to con­sider how and why new earth­quake leg­is­la­tion af­fects her­itage. Many so­called ‘earth­quake prone’ build­ings have been around for well over 100 years and sur­vived nu­mer­ous earthquakes. Re­turns on main street busi­nesses are marginal at best. Re­me­di­a­tion work can cost six fig­ures, an ini­tial en­gi­neer’s re­port $5000. There is po­ten­tial for our main streets to be dev­as­tated – not by earth­quake but by leg­is­la­tion. So, the new or­gan­i­sa­tion will be both cel­e­brant and watch­dog.

The launch of Her­itage Wairarapa is a new be­gin­ning in our car­ing for her­itage and our community.

David Ker­nohanMNZMis a re­tired ar­chi­tect and au­thor of

Wairarapa Build­ings.

David Ker­nohan, Kay Paget, Amiria Te Whaiti and Frank Mine­han of Her­itage Wairarapa.

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