Changes To The New Zealand Historic Places Trust.

What is proposed in the Bill? What is Historic Places Aotearoa?
What will happen in Wellington?
An Explanation by John Daniels- Wellington Branch Committee Member of the NZHPT.Introduction: This article explaining the proposed change to the New Zealand Historic Places Trust was written for the Wellington Branch Committee of the NZHPT Autumn Newsletter by high profile heritage advocate John Daniels. John has generously made the text available for us to post.

The Author: John Daniels
John Daniels was Director of the New Zealand Historic Places Trust from 1971 to 1988. After that he worked in DoC for 10 years on historic resources policy, including seeing the 1993 Historic Places Act through all the Cabinet and Parliamentary processes.  Since retiring he has done consultancy work for DoC and others, including co-ordinating preparation of the World Heritage Tentative List for New Zealand in 2006.
He is an Honorary Life Member of the NZHPT and of the NZ Archaeological Association.

The Article:
Late last year The Hon. Christopher Finlayson, Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, introduced the Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Bill. When this Bill is passed the status of NZHPT as a Crown Entity will be reinforced, and NZHPT members will lose their branch committees and their elected Board representatives. Proposed changes in the Bill include the following:

  • The proposed new name for NZHPT will be Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga
  • Branch Committees will be disestablished, although NZHPT members can remain members of Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga
  • Members will lose their right to elect three representatives to NZHPT Board. The Minister will appoint the whole Board.

The Bill is timed to come into effect on 1 July 2012, subject to possible changes in the Select Committee process. Details of the Bill can be found on line at

In future many branch committees will be reformed as independent heritage organisations in their regions. The Trust is facilitating the process and will transfer funds held by branch committees to the new bodies. These new bodies will need to recruit their own membership base.

The Wellington Branch Committee has decided to reform as a new heritage organisation for our region. The full resolution passed by the Committee is as follows:

  • That the Wellington Branch Committee resolve to seek the New Zealand Historic Places Trust Board approval to disestablish the Wellington Branch Committee and form a new organisation, Historic Places Wellington Incorporated; that the new regional organisation will have the same geographical coverage and purposes and goals that align with the Wellington Branch Committee, and that the proposal to disestablish the branch and transfer branch funds to the new organisation be agreed to by the branch committee.

It is intended to seek this approval of the New Zealand Historic Places Trust Board at its meeting in mid April.

Historic Places Wellington, yet to be incorporated, will aim to provide an independent membership-based voice for heritage in our region. We will aim for a more visible and active presence than the Branch Committee has achieved in recent years.

The main objective of Historic Places Wellington will be to promote the identification, protection and conservation of historic places in the Wellington area, and to inform, advise and educate the public on the significance of Wellington’s historic places. The area of interest will cover the cities of Wellington, Porirua, Lower and Upper Hutt and Kapiti District.

Setting up the new Wellington heritage body is still in the planning stage. There will be further publicity about this as planning progresses, and once final decisions have been made, the NZHPT will write to all members in the area providing details.

At the national level, a new organisation, Historic Places Aotearoa (HPA), has been set up. This organisation will work outside of government and will advocate as an independent voice for historic sites and buildings. Historic Places Aotearoa has adopted a constitution and has been incorporated. It has also provided a model constitution for regional societies.

The HPA website can be viewed under the following:

The new Historic Places Wellington intends to develop a relationship with Historic Places Aotearoa and will support its work. A practical advantage of this is that HPA will provide a centralised membership processing facility for regional societies. How this will work is that, in our case, a Wellington resident wishing to join Historic Places Wellington will apply through HPA for membership. HPA will deduct a share of the membership fee for national HPA purposes and then remit the balance (which will be the bulk of the fee) to Historic Places Wellington.

We urge members to join Historic Places Wellington using this method. To do so, please see the following details.

Membership categories and fees:
Individual: $30.00 per annum
Family (two adults and children under 18): $45.00 per annum
Provide: Name(s), postal address and email address
State: You wish to join Historic Places Wellington
Payment: Cheque made out to Historic Places Aotearoa
Send to: Historic Places Aotearoa, PO Box 693, Christchurch 8140

Your membership will be sent through to Historic Places Wellington as explained above.

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