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Council to consult over uses for historic cottage

Media Statement
3 May 2006

Council to consult over uses for historic McCormick’s cottage

Waitakere City Council has decided to undertake consultation around possible future uses for McCormick’s Cottage, one of the city’s historic buildings.

McCormick’s Cottage was built on the sea-front at what is now Harbourview – Orangihina Park in Te Atatu Peninsula, in the 1880s.

The Waitakere City Council’s Projects Special Committee today heard that there was significant public interest in different uses for the building, if it was restored.

“We think it is important to know what use the building could be put to, before making any other decisions on its future. This is because the final use could impact on the cost of restoration and also show us how that cost could be afforded,” says Committee Chair, Councillor Ross Dallow.

“For example, if it were restored as a café or restaurant, the costs could be significantly different from the costs of restoring it as a house or a council information centre. On the other hand, there would be commercial income from the lease of a restaurant that could be significantly more than from other uses,” he says.

“We haven’t changed our minds about wanting to preserve it, but the building could be considered extremely dilapidated. It has structural problems and the damage is such that we need to consider if the cost of virtual re-construction is worth it,” Cr Dallow says.

“So, we want to know exactly what sort of proposal and costs we will be dealing with and have asked the officers to establish that with the public as a first step. They can then write a Conservation Plan that includes those specifics, and we can put it out for public consultation,” he says.

The committee was in favour of preserving the cottage and voted up to $20,000 to make the building weather tight in the interim. It will also explore having the building registered with the Historic Places Trust.

McCormick’s Cottage is named for Henry McCormick who arrived in New Zealand from Scotland in the 1860’s. It is believed the cottage was built about 20 years later.

It stands on land that was at the time owned by Henderson and MacFarlane, one of whose founders was Thomas Henderson, the pioneer industrialist, farmer and orchardist for whom Henderson was named.

As a result of this history the cottage was closely connected with early European economic activities such as timber milling, gum digging and brick making – ventures upon which the early Henderson town ship was largely founded.


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