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The future of heritage in Christchurch and Banks Peninsula

Friday 21 April 2017

The future of heritage in Christchurch and Banks Peninsula

Heritage is one of Christchurch and Banks Peninsula’s most vital assets – and Christchurch City Council is taking the conversation public to define exactly what the community wants heritage to be, and look like, for the next 50 years and beyond.

With the Canterbury earthquakes resulting in the loss of a significant number of listed and unlisted heritage buildings, the Council has an opportunity to broaden the current definition of heritage to embrace the more intangible values which remain. In a public survey open until Monday 22 May 2017, the Council will seek feedback from all walks of life as it creates a shared vision for heritage.

“Heritage can mean a number of things to a number of people, and it’s important that our new direction reflects that,” says Carolyn Ingles, Head of Urban Design, Regeneration and Heritage with the Council. “What comes to mind for a lot of people when they hear the word heritage is old buildings, when in fact it could really conjure up so much more.

“Heritage is a key resource and asset to our district – it lets us create a vibrant, dynamic and sustainable 21st century city, one that celebrates its history and the stories of past and present residents. It’s about our identity, culture and sense of place – and exactly how we define, protect and promote this is what we hope to get from the consultation.

“Our new approach to heritage needs to celebrate the tangible and the intangible, and the community itself can tell us what we should value and protect, and guide how we establish and cultivate that district-wide vision,” Ms Ingles says.

The Council will look to build sustainable partnerships and collaborative ways to promote and achieve the new vision. There has already been increased recognition of Ngāi Tahu heritage in the recovery and regeneration.

“The local rūnanga’s concept is the kind of thinking we’re talking about – celebrating the history and stories of our past and present residents,” Ms Ingles says. “As our city regenerates, our shared stories can play a vital role in portraying our sense of place. This is the opportunity for organisations and groups to tell us their stories and what part they want to play in the city’s heritage.”

The Council is seeking feedback from the community via workshops, drop-in sessions, online engagement through Have Your Say and Facebook, school visits, and discussions with the six Papatipu Rūnanga. Any specific actions and implementation will be worked through heritage stakeholders, groups and individuals who have provided feedback. The results of the engagement are likely to be available in August 2017.

Residents can visit www.ccc.govt.nz/HaveYourSay for more information about how to contribute.

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