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Follow the Money in Auckland Planning

Media Release

13th July 2012

Dr. Grant Gillon, Member Kaipatiki Board

Follow the Money in Auckland Planning.

“Missing millions is threatening local heritage." said Kaipatiki Local Board member Grant Gillon today.

“I was shocked to discover that millions of dollars allocated to protect North Shore heritage evaporated during the transition to amalgamation” said Grant Gillon today.

“The former North Shore City Council budgeted millions of dollars towards the Heritage Strategy during its final term. The strategy was allocated an additional $0.6m in 2009/10 in order to progress heritage strategies with increases of up to $1.1m per year in 2010/11 and then down to $0.7m in 2015/16.
I was told this week that the budget no longer existed.

As a result there are now proposed deletions of buildings from the historic list shows dozens in Birkenhead, Northcote and Devonport heritage areas with approximately 65 dwellings have been removed from the list completely in the Kaipatiki Board area alone.

In addition, some items been downgraded from Category A making destruction or removal non-complying activities to Category B and therefore destruction or removal of the buildings (or items) discretionary activities.

I have been informed that the deletions and downgrades are because there was not enough money to conduct proper heritage assessments to support their classification.
The reason there is not enough money is because the budget disappeared during amalgamation.

“The same thing happened in 1994. The heritage assessors were not allocated sufficient budget to conduct proper assessments and now the same thing has happened again even though North Shore tried to ensure the budget was sufficient”, says Grant Gillon.

“Among those removed from the heritage list (or been downgraded) are a host of houses in Northcote, Birkenhead, and Devonport as well as the Beachhaven Wharf, heritage shops in Queen St, Northcote, along with the Devonport Museum, and many of the commercial buildings in Victoria Road Devonport”.

However, some additions are worthy such as the Former Gables Hospital at 32 Hinemoa Street Birkenhead, commercial buildings in Highbury, and the St John the Baptist Anglican Church, house and Vicarages in Church Street Northcote.
Also, I am delighted with the recommendations to include Takapuna Fire Station (entire exterior of 1952, 1959 fire stations and 1972 fire training building at 41 Killarney Street as a Category: B listing.

This proposal places all of our beloved heritage at great risk and I urge all residents to submit. Submissions close date: 23 August 2012. More information can be found below.


© Scoop Media

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