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Jones backs Historic Places Trust on Waitangi

Shane Jones
List Member of Parliament
Media Statement

20 March 2008

Jones backs Historic Places Trust on Waitangi proposal

The Historic Places Trust (HPT) is correct in opposing an application to build a visitor centre and convention facility next to the Waitangi Treaty House and people throughout the country should be alarmed by these plans, says Northland List MP Shane Jones.

“Sherry Reynolds (HPT) and her Northern Regional colleagues should be commended for standing up against these proposals. They are absolutely right in that these facilities, if built, will dominate the pristine landscape on the Treaty Grounds,” said Mr Jones.

“I have long been opposed to these sorts of developments at Waitangi and I raised my concerns last year over this issue. We can’t have all sorts of ugly buildings contaminating and ruining the panoramic views at Waitangi.

“The Waitangi National Trust claims to represent the people of New Zealand but yet again they have been found to be acting unilaterally without any consultation. The Waitangi Treaty Grounds belong to all New Zealand, not just the Bay of Islands and Northland.

“I therefore support the Historic Places Trust in drafting a submission opposing the proposed buildings because this could well jeopardise the Government’s bid to have Treaty Grounds listed for World Heritage status.

“It is unfortunate that the Waitangi National Trust has become such an autocratic body and is relentlessly pursuing its agenda to commercialise the birth place of our nation without a full and proper public mandate.”

Mr Jones says plans for the buildings raises serious questions over the Waitangi National Trust.

“For a long time now I have expressed concerns over the governance procedures of the National Trust. We cannot have a body which claims it is acting for all New Zealand when it refuses to make full disclosure of its functions and actions and is driven solely by commercial imperatives.

“I join with the Historic Places Trust in calling widely for public submissions across Aotearoa opposing the plans for these buildings.

Public submissions close on April 4.


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