"Labour believes that knowing and understanding our past and conserving our historic heritage is a critical part of establishing a strong sense of national identity. It is important we tell the stories of our nation’s history, and that places of significance are preserved for future generations."
The following is the text of the Heritage Policy included in the Labour Party "Arts Culture and Heritage" Policy release.
Labour believes that knowing and understanding our past and conserving our historic heritage is a critical part of establishing a strong sense of national identity. It is important we tell the stories of our nation’s history, and that places of significance are preserved for future generations.
A national heritage preservation incentive fund was set up to encourage the preservation of privately owned and nationally significant heritage properties that would otherwise be in danger of neglect or demolition.
Special objects and taonga also play an important role in our heritage, that’s why Labour protected these items by updating the antiquities legislation.
We recognise that investment in the protection of our historic heritage also has important economic spin offs. Iconic sites support heritage tourism, bringing visitors to regions throughout New Zealand and encouraging them to stay and explore our unique history. It has been important to support the Historic Places Trust to link sites to create heritage trails.
We have developed an initial list of New Zealand sites for consideration by international authorities as World Heritage sites.
review the effectiveness of the Historic Places Act legislation to ensure there is a voice for community advocacy.
work with local government, heritage organisations and across central government to investigate and potentially develop a National Policy Statement on Heritage Protections under the Resource Management Act.
investigate methods to ensure that heritage buildings in private ownership are not left in a state of demolition by neglect, triggered by, for instance, the expense of new earthquake proofing requirements. This might include tax incentives to restore listed buildings.
Too many of Canterbury’s heritage and architecturally significant buildings have been demolished in the wake of the quakes, and the destruction is still continuing. As of December 2013, 47% of the listed heritage buildings in Christchurch central city had been demolished.
Only 165 of the city’s 309 heritage buildings remain.
In the aftermath of the quakes, extraordinary powers were given to the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority through section 38 of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act to demolish damaged heritage buildings without consultation.
Three years on from the quakes, the time has come for that overarching authority to end, and for communities to be able to once again have their say on the future of the city’s remaining heritage buildings.
audit and save heritage building stock.
repeal section 38 of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act.
ensure the public can have their say on the future of the Christchurch Cathedral, ensuring it goes through a proper consultation process under the Resource Management Act.