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Wellington’s heritage should not be left to rot

Wellington’s heritage should not be left to rot

Green MP Sue Kedgley is calling for the Government to instruct Transit to immediately begin the restoration of heritage buildings in the path of Wellington’s proposed Motorway bypass, following the announcement funding will be delayed for at least two years.

The controversial bypass project in Te Aro has seen tenants evicted, businesses shut down and heritage buildings left in a state of decay while Transit New Zealand sought funding for the project.

“Now that Transit has decided against building the bypass, after booting out tenants and businesses more than a year ago, they should immediately begin to repair and restore the heritage buildings, some of the oldest in the capital city.”

Ms Kedgley said Transit should never have evicted the tenants before funding had been finalised. Last May 20 police donned riot gear to arrest 10 people who occupied a building in peaceful protest against the bypass.

“This irresponsible and heavy-handed action has seen the buildings go to rack and ruin. The buildings are in appalling condition and they will fall down if left in their current condition within a few short years.

“We cannot delay the restoration any longer. The Government and in particular Marion Hobbs, who is the Minister responsible for Urban Affairs, must take leadership on this issue and instruct Transit to begin restoration work immediately.

“The Minister should take a keen interest in her own electorate and not let these historic buildings continue to rot.

“In other parts of the world an area as culturally and historically rich as this would be treasured and restored a long time ago, but Transit has been hell-bent on wiping out this historic jewel for a kilometre of concrete.”

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