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International Expertise Valuable Asset for Chch Heritage

International Expertise a Valuable Asset for Christchurch Heritage

Clearer steps are needed around the review process for Christchurch’s heritage buildings, Labours Arts, Culture and Heritage spokesperson Steve Chadwick said today.

Following question time today it is apparent that Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Christopher Finlayson was unaware of an offer of assistance from international heritage experts Blue Shield.

“This is a significant oversight on the Minister’s part,” Steve Chadwick said.

“The organisation, formed as a result of the 1954 Hague Convention ---the basic international treaty formulating rules to protect cultural heritage sites--- have offered assistance with the Canterbury recovery process to save heritage and cultural artefacts after the Christchurch earthquake.

“Proven expert thinking must be involved in the recovery phase and assistance such as this should be welcomed,” Steve Chadwick said.

“The Government has given no assurances in answer to the considerable uncertainty over the process for the demolition of heritage buildings. The government cannot afford to ignore offers of specialist assistance.

“Many questions remain about timeframes and who will be included in consultation, decisions and demolition. The communities of Christchurch deserve transparency in this area and some clear answers,” Steve Chadwick said.

ENDS

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