The Government’s decision to discontinue funding for seismic strengthening of heritage buildings is a serious setback for owners, Historic Places Aotearoa president James Blackburne said today.
The decision not to extend Heritage EQUIP (Earthquake Upgrade Incentive Programme) funding past the end of June 2021 slipped through in the May Budget without arousing any media comment. “This cut is a major blow to heritage preservation as the fund had been making extremely worthwhile grants towards seismic strengthening of heritage buildings as required by the Building (Earthquake Prone Buildings) Amendment Act, 2016,” Mr Blackburne said.
ICOMOS NZ Chairperson, Pamela Dziwulska, agrees with HPA – “it’s an incredibly sad loss for built heritage in Aotearoa – buildings are at the forefront of everybody’s day to day experiences of their town centres, cities, and even rural settings. ....
Adaptation, using the right expertise, makes the most sense if the goal is to be sustainable and meet climate change targets. The government put these time limits on building owners who are acting as the kaitiaki, but have now taken away one of their main sources of monetary aid in order to protect and maintain Aotearoa’s cultural heritage for future generations.”
HPA executive member and Whanganui district councillor Helen Craig said Heritage EQUIP was revolutionary in that it funded private owners of buildings.
“It was one of the most effective, best-run and most-responsive funding mechanism I’ve seen.
The Media Release can downloaded at the following link: