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More support for preservation of heritage sites

7 May 2003

Media Statement

Budget 2003

More support for preservation of heritage sites

Prime Minister Helen Clark and Conservation Minister Chris Carter today announced increased government funding for the preservation of New Zealand's heritage sites.

"The government will increase heritage funding by $15.2 million over the next four years so that our heritage assets can be better maintained for the enjoyment of many generations to come," Helen Clark said.

Part of the increased funding will enable the creation of a Heritage Preservation Fund, to be administered by the Historic Places Trust. The fund will provide financial incentives to preserve privately owned heritage properties which may otherwise be demolished or suffer from lack of maintenance. The fund will receive $2.2 million over the next four years.

The heritage package will also include over the four years:

- an additional $8 million for the Historic Places Trust to upgrade the trust's national register, fund increasing demand for its advisory services, maintain and manage its heritage properties and develop its Maori heritage services. This funding begins with an extra $1 million in 2003/04, building to $2 million in 2004/05, and $2.5 million in 2005/06 and subsequent years.

- $4 million for the restoration and development of historic sites administered by the Department of Conservation, which is baselined at an extra $1 million per annum.

- a contribution of $400,000 to the Antarctic Heritage Trust, supporting the Trust's search for international sponsorship of its proposed preservation of historic sites in Antarctica. This funding is baselined at $100,000 per annum.

- $544,000 to the DoC to consult with the community and write a development plan for the Kerikeri Historic Basin, which includes Kororipo Pa, the Stone Store 1832 and the Kemp House 1822, two of New Zealand's oldest buildings.

Helen Clark said the development plan for the Kerikeri Historic Basin will ensure the historic Kerikeri Mission Station is protected from flooding and traffic vibration. Transfund New Zealand and the Far North District Council are funding the design for a bypass of the Kerikeri Heritage District to address the latter issue. The government is committed to assisting in the funding of the bypass' construction once this design is completed.

"Heritage sites tell the story of our country and illustrate our development as a society. The Historic Places Trust plays a vital role in recognising and preserving those sites and promoting their significance to the public.

"The Trust itself manages outstanding heritage sites, including early mission stations, pioneer cottages, lighthouses, redoubts, pa sites, Maori rock art and early industrial sites. It also plays a vital role in the resource management process and provides widely used advisory and advocacy services.

"Today's announcement will enable the Trust to carry out its functions and statutory responsibilities more effectively."

Helen Clark and Chris Carter also announced new heritage funding at Auckland's North Head fortifications, which are managed by DoC. The fortifications will be among the first of DoC's historic sites to be restored with the extra funding.

"The government has worked hard to ensure that this heritage site is retained and remains a public asset, so that New Zealanders and overseas visitors have the opportunity to enjoy the stunning views it offers and explore the tunnels of our most important coastal defence site," Helen Clark said.

"Saving this site from the sale which was proposed by the former National Government was an early decision of the Labour-Alliance Government in 2000. Now we are in a position to fund its preservation further.

"DoC is custodian of more than 12,000 heritage sites, 500 of which receive special care and are developed for visitors. This additional funding for heritage sites will enable DoC to address some of their long overdue maintenance."

The heritage funding announced today forms part of Budget 2003.

ENDS


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