“New Zealand’s first national historic landmark announced” Hon Grant Robertson Media Release

Te Pitowhenua Waitangi Treaty Grounds is the country’s first National Historic Landmark, Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Grant Robertson announced at Waitangi today.

The new programme to establish National Historic Landmarks will help protect New Zealand’s defining moments in time and the special places that are the cornerstones of national identity.

“Some of these sites are associated with important and sometimes challenging discussions about the events that have shaped our past and will influence our future,” Grant Robertson says.

“Given the cultural, historic and social significance of this place, both before and after 6 February 1840, it’s appropriate the Waitangi Treaty Grounds is New Zealand’s first National Historic Landmark.”

Te Minita Whanaketanga Māori Minister for Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta says places such as Waitangi have deep significance to New Zealanders and its safeguarding is important to us all.

“Following discussions with site owners, iwi and the community, further Landmarks will be identified and added to the programme to recognise and preserve the heritage value of these places throughout the country,” Nanaia Mahuta says.

“A key objective of National Historic Landmarks is to help prioritise Government’s heritage conservation efforts. This includes developing long-term risk planning and management to ensure these places are earthquake resilient and protected from other natural disasters as much as possible.”

The National Historic Landmarks/Ngā Manawhenua o Aotearoa me ōna Kōrero Tūturu programme was introduced by the Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Act 2014.  Heritage New Zealand works in partnership with Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage and other stakeholders including the Department of Conservation to deliver the programme.

Details about National Historic Landmarks is available on the Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga website at: www.heritage.org.nz/the-list/national-historic-landmarks

Questions and Answers

Q 1: What is the National Historic Landmarks programme?

A: The National Historic Landmarks programme was introduced by the Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Act 2014 (HNZPTA) to acknowledge those places that New Zealanders demonstrably care about as cornerstones of national identity.

Q 2: Haven’t we already got a Landmarks programme?

A:Tohu Whenua is the new name of a tourism programme covering a nationwide regional group of visitor assets.  A pilot programme, under the name Landmarks Whenua Tohunga, was initiated in 2015 in Northland. Otago followed with the West Coast included in December 2018 under the new name Tohu Whenua.  The National Historic Landmarks programme, in contrast, recognises heritage places of deep significance to New Zealanders as the stories they tell are meaningful and their survival important to us all.

Q 3: Who runs Tohu Whenua?

A: Tohu Whenua is run by Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage, the Department of Conservation and Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga. The aim is to showcase our historic and culturally important places to locals and tourists in a coordinated way.  Heritage New Zealand now oversees this programme, with a programme manager based in Wellington.

Q 4: What is the aim of National Historic Landmarks?

A:The aim is to protect heritage places most important to New Zealanders through long-term risk planning and management, including from natural disaster. These places have rich historical, physical, and cultural significance and without them we are losing something special that identifies us as New Zealanders. A key policy objective of National Historic Landmarks is to help prioritise the government’s heritage conservation efforts, including earthquake strengthening. 

Q 5:  Who runs National Historic Landmarks?

A:The National Historic Landmarks programme was introduced by the Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Act 2014 (HNZPTA) as a way to better recognise and protect this country’s most outstanding heritage places.  Heritage New Zealand works in partnership with Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage and other stakeholders to deliver and promote the programme.

Q 6: How much is National Historic Landmarks costing the taxpayer?

A:The programme is being undertaken by Heritage New Zealand within existing baseline funding.  Heritage New Zealand adjusted some of its programmes to generate the financial and capacity requirements for National Historic Landmarks.

Q 7: What are the sites selected for National Historic Landmarks?

A:In 2015 Heritage New Zealand, in consultation with Manatū Taonga and the Department of Conservation, short-listed potential National Historic Landmarks. Te Pitowhenua Waitangi Treaty Grounds, Meretoto/Ship Cove and the National War Memorial (Wellington) are currently being progressed. Under the HNZPTA criteria and process, Heritage New Zealand recommends places for inclusion following public consultation with the Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage making the final decision.

Q 8:  How many National Historic Landmarks will there be?

A:Recognition is not based on achieving a set number, but rather by sites put forward meeting several thresholds. Any site can be proposed for recognition as a National Historic Landmark, and is then assessed in terms of heritage significance, risk management and community engagement. Rigorous criteria are applied to the assessment of what makes a National Historic Landmark.

Q 9: What is this ‘rigorous criteria’?

A:Places on the National Historic Landmarks list must be of outstanding national heritage value, having regard to the outstanding historical significance of the place in relation to people, events, and ideas of the past; the outstanding physical significance of the place in relation to its archaeological, architectural, design, and technological qualities; and the outstanding cultural significance of the place to tangata whenua and other communities in relation to its social, spiritual, traditional, or ancestral associations. Any nomination must first be listed on the New Zealand Heritage List and put through a public consultation process before being presented to Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, Hon. Grant Robertson for approval.

Q 10: Are there any regulatory impositions on places deemed National Historic Landmarks?

A:All National Historic Landmarks have to demonstrate appropriate legal protection and risk management planning. Should Heritage New Zealand consider these are not fulfilled anymore by the owner a recommendation can be made to the Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage to remove the place’s recognition as a National Historic Landmark.

Q 11: So are the National Historic Landmarks places the government is going to protect if there is a natural disaster?

A:As these places are those recognised as most valuable to all New Zealanders priority will be given to ensuring they remain part of our history. Insightful conservation is key to the long-term protection of these places. To achieve this will require close relationships between government and those caring for these places to ensure long-term plans and daily efforts are closely aligned, with natural disaster risks appropriately managed.

Q 12Why was an Act, the Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Act 2014, required to get them off the ground?

A: National Historic Landmarks/Ngā Manawhenua o Aotearoa me ōna Kōrero Tūturu was introduced by the Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Act 2014 to better recognise and protect this country’s most outstanding heritage places and help prioritise the government’s heritage conservation efforts.  Heritage New Zealand was charged with identifying places of outstanding national heritage value in terms of their historical, physical, and cultural significance.  The purpose of a National Historic Landmarks list is to promote an appreciation of the places of greatest heritage value to New Zealanders and the long-term protection of such places, including protection from natural disasters.

Q 13: How will I recognise one?

A: Every National Historic Landmark will have a wakahuia, a carved treasure box holding the certificate of Landmarks status, as a symbol of its National Historic Landmarks recognition. This recognition will be communicated via Heritage New Zealand and the owner’s website

The world’s daftest Indian? (HNZ Media Release)

The mysterious Army Indian Scout motorcycle.

May 23

MEDIA RELEASE

The world’s daftest Indian?

Was it an accidental wrong turn? Was it an ill-timed twist of the throttle? Was it the result of a night’s inebriation that may have led to a Court Martial? Nobody knows.

But one man would certainly like to find out.

Jack Kemp – a volunteer researcher for Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga – is keen to learn more about how this Army Indian Scout motorcycle (pictured) wound up in a swamp near Kerikeri.

“The army motorcycle had been retrieved from the swamp some years ago, and is now being cared for by members of the Vintage Car Club in Whangarei,” says Jack.

“People believe the motorbike found its way into the swamp during World War II, but nobody knows the circumstances in which the bike disappeared.”

Jack is appealing to anybody who may know – or may have heard stories, perhaps from family members in the past, about how the classic army motorcycle ended up in a bog.

“As part of carrying out research for Heritage New Zealand’s heritage inventory of war sites in Northland I have been involved in a number of oral history interviews, including people sharing mementoes and photographs from the war,” says Jack.

“We’ve discovered pictures of mysterious American float planes landing in Mangonui and a mine sweeper clearing sea mines from the Bay of Islands – and when we’ve put them out in the public domain it’s been amazing how much more information people have been able to share about them. We’re hoping we can pull it off again with our formerly submerged Indian.”

The Army Indian is made by the same company that made the Indian Scout motorcycle that was suped up by Invercargill speed king Bert Munro in his successful bid to break the motorcycle under-1000cc world record at Bonneville in August 1967. His epic run was later made famous in the movie The World’s Fastest Indian.

Although much loved by Munro, the Indian was not an easy motorcycle to drive as Heritage New Zealand’s Northland Manager Bill Edwards can attest.

“When I was younger I owned, briefly, an Army Indian Scout 741B. It was only 500cc, and was a very difficult bike to drive, with the right hand throttle set for ‘advance’ or ‘retard’ to line up the pistons properly for ignition. It also had a gear stick and a foot clutch. The throttle was operated by the left hand grip, and oddly enough you had to take your hand off the throttle to change gears,” Bill says.

“Presented with such a complex sequence of operation I can see how a driver could lose control of the bike quite easily during a tricky manoeuvre – or even encountering something a bit unexpected on the open road.”

Whether the complexity of operation was a contributing factor to the motorcycle ending up in the clag, or whether other factors came into play, the mystery of the misdirected Indian is worth following up according to Jack.

“Our research has touched on the daily lives of men and women in military service, volunteers and civilians, all of whom have shared some wonderful stories with us,” says Jack.

“We’d really love to hear the story of how the driver of this military motorbike may have taken the thrill of off-roading just a bit too far.”

Do you know what happened to the Army Indian motorcycle? Contact Bill Edwards on Ph 09-407-0471 or email bedwards@heritage.org.nz 

Tauranga archaeology to feature in NZ Archaeology Week (HNZPT Media Release 17.04.2019)

Bay of Plenty archaeologist, Ken Phillips (HNZPT Media Release)

April 17

MEDIA RELEASE

Tauranga archaeology to feature in NZ Archaeology Week

The spotlight will fall on Tauranga’s unique archaeology in two major events taking place in May. 

The events are part of the third annual NZ Archaeology Week – a nationwide celebration of New Zealand’s archaeological heritage which runs from April 24 to May 5. 

People can kick off their exploration of Tauranga’s archaeology by joining well-known Bay of Plenty archaeologist and heritage consultant, Ken Phillips, who will talk about the archaeology of early Te Papa including Otamataha pa – an important site in the history of Tauranga. 

Ken discovered the remains of a trench that runs through the Otamataha pa and will talk about the archaeology of the pa and the surrounding landscape. The public talk is a great opportunity to hear from an archaeologist who has researched, surveyed and investigated this area.

Join Ken Phillips in the Rose Garden (Robbins Park, Cliff Road, Tauranga) at 12.30pm on Thursday May 2 (Bookings not required). 

***

On May 3 Brigid Gallagher – local archaeologist, conservator and presenter on the British TV series Time Teamand host of the New Zealand Choice TV documentary series Heritage Rescue– will present a talk entitled Buried: Life Below the Streets of Tauranga

Brigid, who has directed a number of excavations in Tauranga’s central business district, will focus on the archaeology of the central city – including the site of the Tauranga Hotel (now the Lone Star). 

Brigid Gallagher will speak at the Council Chambers on Friday May 3 at 6pm.

To book for Brigid’s talk, follow the link: 

https://www.eventbrite.co.nz/e/brigid-gallagher-buried-life-below-the-streets-of-tauranga-tickets-59804892042

For more information on either event contact Heritage New Zealand’s Lower Northern office in Tauranga – Ph 07-577-4530 or email infolowernorthern@heritage.org.nz

“Walk and Talks to focus on Northland Archaeology” (HNZPT Media Release 17.04.2017)

April 17

MEDIA RELEASE

Walk and Talks to focus on Northland Archaeology

The spotlight will fall on Northland’s archaeology in two major events taking place in Whangarei on Saturday May 4. 

The events are part of the third annual NZ Archaeology Week – a nationwide celebration of New Zealand’s archaeological heritage which runs from April 24 to May 5. 

People can kick off their exploration of Northland archaeology with the Hatea River Hikoi– a walk ‘n’ talk led by students from Whangarei Boys High School with back-up from Heritage New Zealand’s Northland Manager, Bill Edwards. 

“Students will share what they have learned about the archaeological features of the area,” says Bill Edwards. 

“The features are quite stunning, and include early gardening and habitations, while illustrating how people have changed the landscape over the centuries. It has a very dynamic heritage story, and that’s part of what makes it really exciting. 

“This archaeological landscape is also very close to Whangarei’s CBD which is actually quite a rare thing in an urban setting.”

People interested in enjoying the free walk can gather at Hatea Drive opposite the Discovery Settlers Motel before the walk begins at 10am (look for the flagpole marking the meeting place).

Later that day, a panel of experts will present six talks focusing on different aspects of archaeology at the KiwiNorth Floor Talks, which will take place at 2pm on May 4. Each talk will be about 15 minutes long, including time for questions and answers. The talks will take place at the Vintage Car Club rooms at KiwiNorth (Admission $5 per person).

Floor Talk topics include: 

  • Korero Around Sources of Obsidian found in the Bay of IslandJohn and Webber Booth
  • WWII Camps in Northland- Jack Kemp and Dr Bill Guthrie
  • ‘Tākou - Red Earth, the Whenua in the Rohe of Hapū Ngāti Rēhia, Bay of Islands, Northland, NZ’  - Chris Booth
  • Evidence for Early Polynesian Voyaging to New Zealand- Ross and Gael Ramsay, Grahame Collett, Georgia Kerby
  • The Battle of Kororāreka – the start of the Northern Wars- Bill Edwards

Sharing of knowledge leads to ‘rediscovery’ of mission building (HNZ Media Release 18.03.2019)

Skinner descendants at Waima (HNZPT Media Release)

March 18

MEDIA RELEASE

Sharing of knowledge leads to ‘rediscovery’ of mission building

An important early building associated with the Wesleyan Mission in Waima has been ‘rediscovered’.

Waikaramihi, the historic church originally associated with the Hokianga mission, has been noted at its ‘new’ home – Tuhirangi Marae – over 30 years after it was relocated.

“Built in 1853, the church has been shifted twice in its history,” says Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Northland Manager, Bill Edwards.

“The church originally served the community at the Waima mission located up the Taheke River. The church was then moved closer to the Waima settlement in 1893, before its second relocation to the marae in 1988. We now know that the mission included the church building and school building, making the site more complex than what was depicted in early paintings.”

Knowledge of the church’s background came to light at the recent Te Tiriti o Waitangi celebrations at Mangungu Mission, commemorating the 179thanniversary of the third and largest Treaty signings that took place at the other main Wesleyan mission in the Hokianga based at Horeke.

Descendants of missionary Thomas Skinner who was stationed at Waima – a settlement that would eventually grow into a thriving economy based on farming and forestry – shared information about the church building with Heritage New Zealand staff at the event. They also talked about their discovery of a memorial stone celebrating the old oak which missionary John Warren planted in 1839.

“We were actually in the Hokianga to try to find the grave of Thomas Skinner, who died at the Mission in 1866 at the untimely age of 45,” says Thomas Skinner descendant, Tricia Rossiter.

“The family story held that he was buried near the Mission Oak at Waima so we went there to look for his grave. However, after prodding and poking in the long kikuyu around the fallen oak at the Waima site, one of the group found a plaque commemorating the tree, along with the date it was planted and acknowledgement of Rev John Warren as ‘the first missionary in Waima’.

“The stone had fallen off its plinth and was completely hidden under dense grass, though the writing on the stone was still quite legible.”

 

Historic photo highlights reality of Fortress Northland

HMNZS Killegray (Source Heritage New Zealand)

April 24

MEDIA RELEASE

Historic photo highlights reality of Fortress Northland

A striking photograph that serves as a reminder of Northland’s importance as a first line of defence against enemy invasion during World War II has surfaced as a result of a heritage inventory being undertaken by two Northland volunteers.

Jack Kemp and Dr Bill Guthrie, who have spent almost two years identifying and recording military places associated with World War II in Northland as volunteer researchers for Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga, discovered the image while carrying out interviews with people who served in Northland during the War and their descendants.

One of the interviewees, Kevin Hall, is a collector of photos associated with the history of the Far North – including the black and white photo of HMNZS Killegrayclearing sea mines in the Bay of Islands.

“There’s something quite confronting about this picture which captures these deadly mines bobbing in the water, with the Bay of Islands’ distinctive Ninepin Rock – or Tikitiki – on the horizon,” says Heritage New Zealand’s Northland Manager, Bill Edwards.

“It’s a seascape loved by thousands of visitors – and yet here we see a bunch of mines floating in the water where many of us enjoy recreational water activities today. It’s a stark reminder that Northland was a fortress on high alert against attack after the bombing of Pearl Harbour.”

The photo was taken by Tudor Collins, who served as a petty officer in the Royal New Zealand Navy during the war. Prior to this, Collins had developed a reputation as a noted freelance who was one of the first photographers in Napier after the Hawke’s Bay earthquake of 1931. He also recorded Auckland’s Queen Street riots in 1932, and was the only photographer to meet the passengers and crew from the mined Niagrain June 1940.

“Despite the military purpose of Collins’ photo, it’s as much an example of New Zealand social history as his pre-war work,” says Bill. 

The mines depicted may have been part of a network of 13 loops of 16 contact mines in the channel between Moturoa and Moturua Islands, or more likely some of the 258 contact mines laid in three lines between Ninepin Rock and Whale Rock.

Further north, the Whangaroa Harbour was protected from seaborne invasion by a line of 30 mines across the entrance to the harbour which would have been activated from a Controlled Mining Station.

Mangungu Te Tiriti o Waitangi Commemorations – February 12 (2019)- HNZPT Media Release

Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga is joining with Te Mana o Mangungu Hokianga Trust and Nga Uri Whakatupu o Hokianga to commemorate the anniversary of New Zealand’s largest signing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi at Māngungu Mission on February 12.

Historically, the signing of the Treaty at Māngungu had a large impact on the community. About 70 rangatira gathered at the Mission and subsequently signed the Treaty, and between 2000 and 3000 Māori attended on the day. 

The original table on which Te Tiriti was signed is on display at Mangungu Mission, and this important artefact will play a central role in the commemorations.  

A display on Te Hokowhitu-a-Tu – the 28thMaori Battalion – will also feature in this year’s Tiriti event. 

(more…)

Heritage New Zealand properties open free on Waitangi Day – HNZPT Media Release (30:01:19)

Properties in Northland cared for by Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga will once again open their doors to the public free of charge on Waitangi Day.

The historic places include Pompallier Mission (Russell), Kemp House and the Stone Store (Kerikeri), Te Waimate Mission (Waimate North), Mangungu Mission (Horeke) and Clendon House (Rawene). 

The country’s lead heritage organisation cares for these properties on behalf of all New Zealanders, and the free entry is its way to help commemorate and reflect on our national day.  This year’s main theme will be ‘the building of a nation’.

“This theme relates to our built heritage as representative of what preceded the 1840 signing and what dated it,” says Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Chief Executive Andrew Coleman.

“They are physical reminders, or touchstones, of Māori and Pākehāinteraction; of who we are, where we have come from and where we will collectively go as New Zealanders.

“Our properties tell a small part of a wider story of the nation.  They are open free of charge to enjoy, learn from and appreciate a snapshot of our history. 

“The objective of the open day is to promote the significance of Heritage New Zealand places that contribute to the story of early Māori and Pākehāinteraction and the progression to the multicultural society we are today in a family, fun and inclusive way,” says Andrew.

The open day is part of Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga’s commitment to honouring the vision for Māori heritage as contained in the Māori Heritage Council’s document Tapuwae.

“Tapuwae means ‘sacred footprint’.  The purpose of the document, and the properties opening, is to further express the idea that we can look back to see where we have been as we move forward, taking more steps,” says Andrew.

“It’s a day of commemoration and reflection.  We hope all New Zealanders take the opportunity to visit one or more of these special places.”

For more information please visit www.heritage.org.nz

Picture Postcard competition at Heritage New Zealand properties (Heritge New Zeland Media Release)

December 24

MEDIA RELEASE

Picture Postcard competition at Heritage New Zealand properties

Visitors to Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga’s properties in Northlandcould be in to win some special prizes in a photo competition running over the holiday break. 

From Boxing Day, Heritage New Zealand will run a ‘Picture Postcards’ series of Facebook posts celebrating some of the cool properties Heritage New Zealand cares for on behalf of all Kiwis.

Punters can drop a photo into any of the ‘Picture Postcards’ posts of them and their family and friends at one of Heritage New Zealand’s properties and go in the draw to win a copy of Landmarks – notable historic buildings of New Zealandby David McGill and Grant Sheehan.  

A copy of the book will be up for grabs with each post, and people are encouraged to get their friends to vote for their photo. At the end of the series the best overall photo will win a special prize.

Photos can be of any of Heritage New Zealand’s properties, not just from the daily post.  For more information on properties please visit http://www.heritage.org.nz/places/places-to-visit

Properties in Northland cared for by Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga are Kemp House / Stone Store, Te Waimate Mission, Pompallier Mission, Clendon House and Mangungu Mission. 

“Heritage role just like coming home for Ohaeawai resident” HNZ Media Release (28-02-18)

Heritage New Zealand’s Property Lead, Te Waimate and Hokianga Properties Alex Bell preparing a spit roast Hogget for the recent Waitangi Day cricket match at Te Waimate Mission. All in a day’s work – Alex’s third day of work actually.

February 28

MEDIA RELEASE

Heritage role just like coming home for Ohaeawai resident

For Ohaeawai resident Alex Bell, taking on a new role with Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga is a bit like coming home.

The 31-year old was recently appointed Heritage New Zealand’s Property Lead, Te Waimate and Hokianga Properties;  a role that involves the management of New Zealand’s second oldest surviving building – Te Waimate Mission – as well as Mangungu Mission in Horeke and Clendon House in Rawene.

Alex has a particularly strong link to Clendon House.

“Dennis Cochrane, who was the father of Jane Clendon, was one of my ancestors. Jane, who married James Reddy Clendon, was instrumental in keeping Clendon House in the family after his death until it was eventually gifted to the NZ Historic Places Trust in the early 1970s,” says Alex.

“Besides that link, I grew up on a dairy farm near Lake Omapere and went to Okaihau Primary and College. Both sides of my family are long-time Northlanders with a good mix of 19thCentury links to the Hokianga, Bay of Islands and Whangarei.”

Discovering physical evidence of his ancestors on family land as a child was instrumental in forming an interest in history according to Alex.

“The objects I found poking out of the banks of the Hokianga Harbour were likely disposed of by them, so those old spoons and whiskey bottles created a more personal link between them and now,” he says.

Highlighting links that help bring history alive, as well as making stories and information accessible to the community, are objectives Alex wants to explore in his new role.

“I love to get into the gritty parts of the stories, and to find historical tidbits to incorporate into the story of a property or archaeological site that give it some personal context,” he says.

“Heritage New Zealand’s Hokianga properties were all established in the early phases of European settlement and are all Landmarks Whenua Tohunga. As well as travelling half way around the world, settlers had to build their lives in an unfamiliar nation, build relationships with a well established Maori population, and build the foundations of Missionary societies from which they had been sent – all while staying alive.”

Each of the physical buildings sit in landscapes that incorporate centuries of Maori settlement and politics, and have their own stories to tell.

“Te Waimate Mission is an untapped treasure – and that goes for Mangungu Mission and Clendon House too. There is a wealth of stories to be told beyond just those of key historical figures,” he says.

“They’re also beautiful places to enjoy. Te Waimate Mission, for example, is perfect for people to bring a picnic and sit under the trees.”

Te Waimate is a far cry from Western Australia where Alex worked as a contract archaeologist prior to returning to New Zealand. He is enjoying being able to walk through knee-deep grass without having to worry about standing on a sleeping snake, or surveying in the bush and getting covered in kangaroo ticks. Neither does he miss being away for weeks at a time, the relentless heat and sleeping in a swag by the fire.

“I certainly loved it there, though. A beer at sunset with your mates after a 10-hour work day in 45 degree heat, looking over a mountain range of premium grade iron ore – that’s the good life,” he says.

After working as an archaeologist in the north following his return from Australia, Alex is looking forward to the next step of his heritage journey. And his family connections make it all the more personal.

“One of my ancestors, William Robinson, is buried in the Mangungu cemetery – so this job is kind of like caretaking a bit of family history I suppose,” he says.