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Concern at Treaty grounds plan

PRESS RELEASE


02 April 2008

The Russell Protection Society Inc has signalled its concern in a submission to the Far North District Council regarding a commercial venture that the Waitangi National Trust is planning for the iconic Waitangi Treaty grounds.

The Trust is proposing over 5000m2 of conference or convention facilities and associated parking on an obtrusive coastal site that is highly visible from Russell and the wider Bay. This proposed complex is adjacent to the historic Treaty House and Whare Runanga.

Bob Drey, Chairman for the Russell Protection Society, says that locals and tourists alike highly value the historic landscape of the Bay and consider views of the Treaty Grounds to be an important part of our heritage as New Zealanders. He said the proposed building and carparking was massively out of scale with the adjacent historic buildings and would dominate and trivialise them. Mr Drey said that if there is a market for a large conference or visitor centre, then there are plenty of other suitable sites within the Bay of Islands. He said that the Trust should think again about risking the iconic heritage landscape of Waitangi for such an ill-considered revenue generating exercise.

The Society's submission can be viewed on their web site at www.rps.org.nz

ENDS

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