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Iwi, Council meet to plan preservation

19 December 2005

Iwi, Council meet to plan preservation of historic whare

Wellington City Council, iwi and developers have met to begin planning the preservation of three traditional whare found on a central city building site.

The whare, made of ponga logs, were uncovered at 39 Taranaki Street during development work for an apartment complex. The find, believed to be part of the original Te Aro Pa dating back to the 1820s, is particularly significant since such excavations rarely uncover identifiable buildings.

Representatives of the Wellington Tenths Trust, the Council, Historic Places Trust and the developer met this afternoon to discuss how best to the preserve the whare.

The Executive Officer of the Wellington Tenths Trust, Liz Mellish, says the meeting was highly productive, with agreement reached on security issues and immediate preservation work.

Mrs Mellish says the Trust and the Council will jointly fund security for the site.

Agreement was also reached on the most urgent preservation work. “A structure needs to be built around the site quickly to protect it over the holiday period. Also, chemical treatment of the ponga has to happen quickly in order to preserve the wood.”

Mrs Mellish says the Tenths Trust is right behind the project, with a group of around 40 kaumatua meeting last week at Tatau o te Po marae in Petone to emphasise the importance of the whare for Te Atiawa/Taranaki whanui.

Wellington City Council’s Manager of Treaty Relations, Jack Morris, says it is heartening to see the collaborative effort being put in to preserve Wellington’s history.

Mr Morris says further meetings will take place this week to ensure the site is properly protected before Christmas.

ENDS

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