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Time to stop the heritage destruction madness


Arts, Culture and Heritage Spokesperson 

16 July 2013    MEDIA STATEMENT

Time to stop the heritage destruction madness

The ad-hoc destruction of Christchurch’s heritage buildings is a national tragedy and it needs to stop before the history of the city is lost, says Grant Robertson, Labour’s Arts, Culture and Heritage spokesperson.

“The news that the historic McLean’s Mansion is to be demolished is the latest blow to Christchurch’s heritage. With no apparent plan from the government or local authorities to protect the city’s heritage hundreds of buildings with cultural and historical significance are being torn down.

“McLean’s Mansion is an iconic wooden homestead right in the heart of Christchurch. 
Heritage advocates I have spoken to are devastated that a building that is not dangerous and had the potential to be restored is simply to be demolished.

“Everyone understands that there are some buildings that have to be pulled down for safety and other reasons, but that should not mean ad-hoc destruction of the city’s heritage.

“The government has a leadership role to play here. The Ministry of Culture and Heritage has not moved quickly enough on a recovery programme for heritage, and in the meantime many buildings have been demolished that could have been saved.  

“What is needed is a heritage recovery plan, mandated under the CERA Act that is a joint responsibility of the Council and the government.  This would give the direction necessary to ensure that Christchurch’s heritage is looked after in a planned and considered way,” Grant Robertson said.


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