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Heritage Bypass more than just a road

MEDIA RELEASE FROM

New Zealand Historic Places Trust Pouhere Taonga

Heritage Bypass more than just a road

18th July

The opening of the Kerikeri Heritage Bypass by Prime Minster Helen Clark today marks the beginning of a new era for Kerikeri, and a new level of appreciation for New Zealand’s heritage according to the head of the country’s lead heritage protection agency.

Bruce Chapman, Chief Executive of the New Zealand Historic Places Trust, today congratulated the Prime Minister and the Ministry for Culture and Heritage for their commitment to the bypass project.

“The Kerikeri Heritage Bypass is more than just a new road. It represents a highly significant undertaking to preserve one of New Zealand’s most important early contact sites,” says Mr Chapman.

“The new bypass has meant that the road bridge adjacent to Kemp House – which has exacerbated the effects of flooding over the years, most recently in March last year – can now be dismantled. That means the future of two of New Zealand’s oldest buildings has just got a whole lot better.”

Besides the obvious benefits to Kemp House and the Stone Store, both of which are operated by the Historic Places Trust, removal of through-traffic from the Basin will help reinforce the area’s historic sense of place, while creating an inspiring public space for locals and visitors alike to enjoy.

“The Kororipo-Kerikeri Basin is the country’s oldest continuously occupied site shared by Maori and Pakeha, and as such represents a rare surviving example of a place of encounter and relationship-building between two worlds. For these reasons, the Kororipo-Kerikeri Basin is on the New Zealand Tentative List for consideration as a World Heritage site,” says Mr Chapman.

“The encounters that took place here laid the foundation for the agreement that would later be signed at Waitangi and elsewhere, and for the development of New Zealand as a bicultural nation and modern state.”

The investment in the new Kerikeri Heritage Bypass reflects the historic significance of the buildings and surrounding area.

“The Historic Places Trust wants future generations of New Zealanders to be able to enjoy Kemp House, the Stone Store and the rich heritage of the Basin for themselves as people have been able to do for decades,” says Mr Chapman.

“The Heritage Bypass will help ensure that these buildings will be around for many years to come.”

ENDS

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