Waitangi Treaty Grounds pegged for NZ's first historic landmark
Heritage New Zealand is calling for the Waitangi Treaty Grounds to be selected as the country's first National Historic Landmark.
At the 2017 Dawn Karakia Ceremony at Waitangi Treaty Grounds. Photo: NZ Navy
The organisation is seeking public feedback on the plans to recognise the grounds as a significant landmark that shapes national identity.
The National Historic Landmarks programme was set-up under the Heritage New Zealand Pou-here Taonga Act 2014 to better recognise and protect the country's outstanding heritage places.
The Waitangi Treaty Grounds in Northland is where the agreement that New Zealand is built on was signed in 1840.
Heritage New Zealand director policy Rebecca O'Brien said the treaty grounds was the most fit-ting place to be put forward as the first National Historic Landmark.
Ms O'Brien said the aim of the National Historic Landmark was to protect the site through long-term risk planning and management - including from natural disaster.
She said a number of significant sites, including the Christchurch Cathedral, were damaged, "and they wanted a programme that was in legislation that would ensure that places that mattered the most to New Zealanders get the protection they needed," she said.
Following the public consultation process Heritage New Zealand recommends the Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, Grant Robertson make the final decision for inclusion.
Heritage New Zealand is working in partnership with the Ministry for Culture and Heritage and other stakeholders to deliver and promote the programme.
Submissions on the Waitangi Treaty Grounds proposal close on 12 February.