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Heritage area proposed for Lyttelton

21 October 2008

Heritage area proposed for Lyttelton

Lyttelton is already regarded as one of New Zealand’s heritage rich areas, and its community now has the opportunity to back that with official recognition with the New Zealand Historic Places Trust (NZHPT).

NZHPT is working on a proposal to enter the Lyttelton Historic Area in Canterbury on its National Register of Historic Places.

There are a number of heritage sites already registered with NZHPT or identified on the Banks Peninsula district plan – including Timeball Station, built in 1876, which was given Category I registration in 1983. The proposal for a Lyttelton Historic Area registration would allow for an appreciation of heritage values in the context of its setting.

However, the registration process provides no regulatory protection to heritage sites. Protection comes when local authorities take the lead and protect local historic places in their district plan.

NZHPT General Manager, Southern Region, Malcolm Duff said the Lyttelton Historic Area proposal was an ideal opportunity for the community to continue to show its support for heritage protection.

“Lyttelton is blessed with its richness of tradition, history and heritage.

“NZHPT identifies, promotes and protects heritage, but the local community has considerable power in influencing those that make decisions on retaining our heritage.

“By being proactive the community’s voice - and actions - can really help reinforce the message.”

NZHPT letters will be delivered to Lyttelton households outlining the registration process, with an information meeting set for 29 October. Interest from the wider community is also welcomed.

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Following the preparation of a Registration report by NZHPT staff a formal submission process will be initiated.

The public meeting will be held at Harbour Light Entertainment and Function Venue, 24 London St, Lyttelton, from 4.30pm to 6.30pm.

For more information:

Malcolm Duff
General Manager, Southern Region
New Zealand Historic Places Trust
(03) 365 2897
(027) 484 4088



NZHPT is New Zealand’s lead heritage agency and, on behalf of New Zealanders, identifies, protects and preserves historic places. One aspect of this is working closely with local authorities and property owners to explore options for reusing historic places in place of demolishing them.

Registering historic places

Registration is the inclusion on the Register of a place or area that considered part of New Zealand’s historical and cultural heritage. Places may be included on the register if they possess aesthetic, archaeological, architectural, cultural, historic, scientific, social, spiritual, technological or traditional qualities. Under the Historic Places Act, places with “special or outstanding historical or cultural heritage significance or value” may be accorded the highest ranking of Category I status.

Unfortunately, the registration process provides no protection to historic places and historic areas. Protection comes about when local authorities take the lead in protecting their local historic places by listing them in their district plans.

Reducing costs associated with district plan protection

Potential cost obligations for heritage owners if historic places are included in the District Plan can and have been addressed in New Zealand and overseas through market-based incentives such as:
- incentive funds
- rates and consent relief or waivers
- planning mechanisms such as spot zoning.

There are also many successful examples of viable reuse of heritage buildings within their original settings.


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