Christchurch City Council Draft Annual Plan 2019-2020- Submission From Historic Places Canterbury

Christchurch City Council Draft Annual Plan 2019-2020

Submission from Historic Places Canterbury

Mayors and Councillors;

Thank You for the opportunity to make this Submission.

Historic Places Canterbury (HPC) requests the Councillors pass on our appreciation of the efforts and application of the Council Heritage Team. 

They have worked hard ensuring the Stakeholders and Residents were kept informed and HPC considers the recently adopted Heritage Strategy to be a credit to them and the Council as a whole.

In addition, we request the Councillors pass on our appreciation of Richie Moyle and his team in their ongoing efforts in restoring and repairing the Councils Heritage Buildings. Highlights in the past year include the reopening of the Nurse’s Memorial Chapel and Historic Rose Chapel.

Historic Places Canterbury wishes to acknowledge the passing of the heritage stalwart Pam Wilson. Her passing is a loss to us all.

HPC in addition wishes to acknowledge the efforts and achievements of the recently retired Dave Hinman who served this Council for 50 years.

HPC endorses the Special Heritage (Cathedral) Targeted Rate.

HPC endorses the Proposed Capital Programme:
Chokebore Lodge
Edmond's Band Rotunda
Kapuatohe Dwelling

HPC is concerned about the proposed delay in restoring the Old Municipal Chambers and requests that funds be set aside for its restoration.

HPC is concerned about the delay in restoring and strengthening the Robert McDougall Gallery and request that funds be set aside so residents can again enjoy this magnificent bequest by Robert McDougall.

Provincial Council Buildings:

The Provincial Council Chambers restoration and repair does not feature in any proposed Council plans.

The Provincial Council is one of our significance heritage treasures Toanga and the continued uncertainty of its restoration is deeply concerning. 

HPC requests the Council starts serious planning for the full restoration of the Provincial Council Buildings. 

HPC fully endorses any Council initiatives, conversations, formal talks to involve central Government as a partner in the restoration of these nationally significant heritage buildings. 

HPC requests the Council start formal negotiations with Central Government to ensure the long overdue commencement of the restoration of the Provincial Council Buildings.

Yaldhurst Memorial Hall:

The Yaldhurst Memorial Hall was proposed by Council staff to be demolished. (It is not scheduled on the District Plan) HPC was concerned the Building had not been until very recently assessed for its heritage values by the CCC Heritage Team. HPC considers the whole building is the Memorial not just the Plaques inside.

The CCC Management have promptly changed their policy as a result of HPC’s concerns and will now involve the Heritage Team as early as possible.

Heritage Building Scheduling on the District Plan and Enforcement Funding:

HPC commends the Councillors for successfully persuading Central Government to relinquish its formal direct role in the processes of the CCC District Plan. HPC is looking forward to the Council having sole oversight of its District Plan.

Historic Places Canterbury has been provided with research that:

Heritage (Scheduled) Building make up only 0.25% of the total Christchurch Building Stock.

Heritage Building make up only 5.5% of the CBD Building stock.

HPC is sure the Councillors will agree these percentages are extremely small. Protected Heritage Buildings are quantifiably rare treasures Taonga!

HPC requests the Councils review the Heritage Teams funding and increase it so that they can proactively identify heritage buildings that are as yet unscheduled and ensure they are scheduled in the District Plan. We consider the Council should lead in this by demonstrating best practice with its own buildings.

The HPC research shows that protected heritage buildings are very few in number and the CCC should prioritize the protection of our heritage for future generations.

HPC requests the CCC Heritage Team be given increased funding to incentivise heritage retention and where required proactively enforce heritage protection.

HPC is concerned that there is a danger the Heritage Building is innocently affected when it is the owner who is negligent.  The owner may choose not to spend any funds on maintenance and we have a situation of “demolition by neglect”.

Recently the CCC has recently completed “The Earthquake-prone Buildings - Identification of Priority Routes” which means the period of time set aside to strengthen a Heritage Building is considerably shortened. 

HPC considers the Heritage Team should have additional funding to ensure we do not have an occasion where an owner chooses to do nothing and then claims that to comply with the “Priority Routes” (effectively the whole CBD) the heritage building will have to be demolished.  The Heritage Building is affected and the negligent owner is not held accountable for their lack of action.

The CCC Heritage Strategy:

HPC considers this is an exciting initiative and commends the CCC Heritage Team for their approach, their work and the resulting strategy and the Councillors for supporting them! HPC is sure the Christchurch Residents and community groups enthusiastic support of the Heritage Strategy initiative will continue on to its implementation.

HPC requests that additional funding be provided to the Heritage Team to ensure the Heritage Strategy can be progressed.

HPC also requests that additional funding be set aside for building a digital online capacity to provide a digital backbone for the Heritage Strategy.

HPC considers that additional Staff Resources will be needed to build community networks and partner with the Community to ensure the successful implementation of the Heritage Strategy.

HPC also considers there will be need for a digital capacity to be increased to strengthen an online presence to be used as a resource.  The Library already has an online digital heritage resource and the solution may be to fund extra capacity.

The CCC has started workshopping a CBD Interpretation initiative and HPC considers if the resources accumulated e.g. the District Plan Statements of Significance which contain the histories of the Heritage Buildings, were made more easily available online they would be useful to anyone from a resident showing off their city to their visiting friends, tourists self-guiding to a Tourist Coach Tour Driver’s commentary.

Christchurch City Council Response to Annual Plan Submissions:

HPC has in the past verbally raised concerns in its Submissions about the form and content the CCC uses to respond to Annual Plan Submissions. The Council has continued with its approach of providing a generalised form letter from the CCC Chief Executive to Annual Plan Submitters.

Historic Places Canterbury requests that the CCC provides in its Annual Plan correspondence a detailed response to each of HPC’s Annual Plan Submissions. 

In the not too distant past the CCC in its Annual Plan responses, used to provide a copy of the CCC Staff Reports to the specific Annual Plan Submissions. 

HPC considers this a reasonable solution.

Mark Gerrard

Chair Historic Places Canterbury

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