“Heritage Heavyweights to judge the inaugural Whanganui Regional Heritage Awards”Media Release (19.08.2020)

Press Release 18 August 2020.

Heritage Heavyweights to judge the inaugural Whanganui Regional Heritage Awards 

Three independent and highly qualified judges will assess the inaugural Whanganui Regional Heritage Award entries, with the results to be announced at the Awards Ceremony and opening of the Whanganui Heritage Month on 1 October.

Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga, Chief Executive, Andrew Coleman 
Christchurch Heritage Trust Chair, Dame Anna Crighton  
Gisborne Heritage Architect & Historic Places Aotearoa President, James Blackburne

The Awards are modeled on the Canterbury Heritage Awards, originally established as the Christchurch Heritage Awards in 2010 by Dame Anna Crighton. Held every two years, the Awards were such a success, they were extended to the Canterbury region. Their Patron is the Right Honourable Helen Clark ONZ.

It’s envisaged by Whanganui Regional Heritage Trustee Helen Craig, that establishing the Whanganui Regional Heritage Awards with similar Award Categories, it will build momentum to establish National Heritage Awards. Discussions are being held with Heritage New Zealand and the Ministry of Heritage and Culture to that end. 

Chief Executive of Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga has also been a judge for the Canterbury Heritage Awards so is familiar with the standard and Award Categories of the Whanganui Awards.

Gisborne Heritage Architect James Blackburne is President of Historic Places Aotearoa, the National body representing independent heritage organisations throughout New Zealand. Dame Anne Salmond is their Patron. He is also chair of Historic Places Tairawhiti and Tairawhiti Heritage Trust and has won awards for heritage architectural projects.

Helen Craig established Whanganui Heritage Month and the Awards as part of a strategy to build Whanganui’s and the wider regions’ reputation as a significant heritage destination. “Heritage buildings and our heritage story, both european and Maori are among Whanganui’s strong points, and gaining recognition through a variety of events, will have a big impact on preservation, restoration and attraction” says Helen.

Organisations, businesses, groups and individuals involved in heritage throughout the Whanganui, Ruapehu and Rangitikei Districts are encouraged to enter the Awards. A special Rural Category should encourage farming and small village entries also. 

Its easy and quite quick to submit an entry and photographs are encouraged as part of submissions.

COVID19 will not interefere with the Awards as all entries are submitted electronically and judging does not rely on site visits. The Judges will utilise ZOOM to discuss and decide on the Award places. This has been done in Canterbury since their Awards were established and it works very well. 

Award entries opened on 1 August and close on 31 August.

The Awards will be held every two years and full details are on the Trust’s website, including the Entry Form for the Awards. www.whanganuiheritagetrust.org.nz.


Helen Craig, BFA 
Trustee & Awards Manager, 021 103 0737, whanganui.heritagetrust@gmail.com

Ann Petherick 
Awards Associate Manager, 027 347 7533, ann.petherick@xtra.co.nz 

Three judges announced for Whanganui Heritage Awards Whanganui Chronicle

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