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Anti-Heritage Attitude Alive and Well on the Shore

Media Release

29 July 2011

Dr. Grant Gillon, Member Kaipatiki Board

Anti-Heritage Attitude Alive and Well on the Shore

“This week will go down in history that the tide turned against heritage on the North Shore...a dark time for local communities." Kaipatiki Local Board elected member Dr. Grant Gillon said today.

Last night the Shore Voice majority team on the Kaipatiki Local Board voted against my motion to increase protection against inappropriate commercial development within the Residential 3a heritage zones.

Former North Shore City Councillor Tony Holman and I championed Plan Change 33 following the debacle that occurred after planners approved a higher rise apartment block within the heritage area of Birkenhead Point. Fortunately, the community won this battle in Court. However, the concerns remained and Plan Change 33 developed to clarify the protection of the heritage areas.

But, Plan Change 33 was inexplicitly delayed until after amalgamation and resurfaced with some important and potentially disastrous amendments.

Local residents would now have little, if any, ability to express their concerns as the amended District Plan provides for discretionary approval by Council officers. There is a danger that the more modern commercial buildings will not be subject to controls to maintain the heritage nature of the area and their interaction with it.

The decision being left to officers’ discretion is subjective and relies on the heritage view of an individual officer.

As we heard last night residents are concerned that “the officer could allow a totally out of character building which they consider appropriate but local residents would consider inappropriate” and there is little ability to object.

Unfortunately, the local Kaipatiki Board decided by the Chair’s casting vote to lower the heritage protection status and so could put the very nature of our heritage communities at risk of inappropriate development. We only have three heritage zones on the North Shore: Devonport, Northcote Point and Birkenhead Point. All three made presentations to the Kaipatiki Local Board and all three were ignored by the majority grouping.

This approach compounds the disturbing events at a recent Council committee when the Chair of the Takapuna Devonport local board argued for Council to pursue costs against local heritage groups involved in the fight to save the Masonic in Devonport.

The Shore Voice team has been exposed as anti-community, anti-heritage and a democratic farce.

My thanks go to the hard working members of our community and that of Devonport Heritage for their continued championing of our precious heritage areas despite the despicable activities of some of our elected members.


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