“Empty heritage buildings better than nothing”, New Zealand Historic Places Trust Manager says” [Otago Daily Times Headline]

ODT is reporting  Owen Graham [NZHPT Otago - Southland Area Manager] stating that leaving a Heritage building vacant is preferable to demolition. [Tuesday, 10 July 2012]

The NZHPT is hosting a public lecture by Consultant Structural Engineer Win Clark on strengthening Stone and Brick Masonry Buildings -19th July, Otago Museum.
Comment:This article is a well written and a must read.

Briefly the following points are made:

  • It is preferable to leave a building vacant if there are problems meeting structural standards.
  • Community Groups and Churches will have difficult decisions in response to Dunedin City Council pre 1976 Non Residential Policy which require  Building owners to meet updated standards within time frames.
  • Owen asks that owners carefully consider options - NZHPT is available to help. Dunedin City Council has incentives, grants etc.  An option could be to sell the empty building.
  • Peter Dunne , Revenue Minister, is  reported as saying,  that earthquake strengthening may cause financial hardship and that Government leadership may be required.
  • Owen does not know the number of Dunedin's potential earthquake prone heritage buildings.

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