Tag: Deputation

Woodham Park Caretakers Residence: Personal Deputation to Waikura Linwood-Central-Heathcote Community Board

Deputation to Waikura Linwood-Central-Heathcote Community Board, 

Made by Mark Gerrard. Wednesday 16th March 2022.

Chair, Councillors and Community Board Members, 

Thank you for granting me this opportunity to make this Deputation on: 

Agenda Item 10. Woodham Park - Former Caretaker's Residence and Grounds

Firstly, I am making this Deputation as a Community Board Resident.

I have deep concerns with the reports recommendation and the logic and processes of the decision making.

My concerns are the following:

1. No Public Engagement with the residents/groups etc about the possible future use of this former caretaker’s residence. It has been my experience that there are groups looking for a venue. It would be good civic practice to attempt to actively engage and work with the Community before a decision to demolish is made. 

2. I can find no attached report or reference in the Report that the Council’s own Heritage Team has made an assessment. I have checked with the Heritage Team and no Council former Caretaker Residences (aside from the Botanical Gardens) have been scheduled on the CCC District Plan. Admittedly, 1940s Houses such as these are humble but we should have at least some protected before they all vanish. Buildings such as these are part of our collective Heritage. The Council should leading by example.

3. I can find no mention of the CCC Heritage Strategy "Our Heritage Our Taonga" in this report. Was the former residence assessed as possible heritage? The CCC as an owner should be proactive and be leading by example.

4. The existing building is the greenest building. I am perturbed the former residence was allowed to sit unused, and presumably allowed to deteriorate, according to the report, since 2009, and no active use sought or decision about its future made. Many residents would not consider this good practice.

I am formally requesting the Community Board, decline any decision to demolish and instead proactively seek Community Engagement and input with the aim of making the former caretaker’s residence available for community use. In addition measures will need to be implemented to stop reported antisocial behaviour.

Related to this, I request the Community Board seek a Heritage Assessment from the CCC Heritage Team as to the former caretaker’s residence’s suitability for Scheduling on the District Plan.

Finally, I note the Council has a Heritage Strategy "Our Heritage Our Taonga", could I request this Community Board send a communication that it expects in its reports, that Council Staff be proactive where potential heritage may be involved (no matter how minor) and seek the advice and involvement of the CCC Heritage Team.

Thank You for listening to this Deputation.

Mark Gerrard

The Agenda Item can be found at the following link.




The Citizens’ War Memorial monument is a vital and integral component of the city’s most important public space, Cathedral Square, and it is essential that it remains so in the post-disaster years. Its structural and visual form creates a carefully orchestrated synergy with the structure, form and symbolism of Christchurch Cathedral. 

It needs the cathedral and the cathedral needs it, because of a shared meaning embodied in the crucifix form of both structures. We can see this in the Latin cross floor plan of the cathedral and in the 15m high structural cross of the War Memorial. This is no accident or coincidence: the Anglican Church gave explicit instructions on these design matters and sculptor William Trethewey and architect George Hart fully and faithfully executed them. In doing so they created what eminent New Zealand historian Jock Phillips says is possibly ‘…the finest public monument in the country'. To separate the two structures would be to considerably diminish both heritage structures. 

Re-stated: for more than half its life Christchurch Cathedral has been the core of a shared civic experience of great profundity with its nearest neighbour, the Citizens’ War Memorial. The Civic Trust and Historic Places Canterbury cannot see any valid reason to sever this physical and deeply symbolic bond. 

The Christchurch City Council through its ratepayers has recently agreed to contribute a generous $10m to the reinstatement of Christchurch Cathedral, with some stated restrictions. This follows a long history of the council making a significant contribution to the cathedral, including re-roofing and earthquake strengthening. Furthermore, the current concept plan by Regenerate Christchurch for the future of Cathedral Square shows the Citizens’ War Memorial in its present position. Planners have clearly not considered its presence a problem: rather they see it as part of the mix of features contributing towards a vibrant civic centre. The council has agreed to contribute half the initial costs for the redevelopment of Cathedral Square and must do all it can to strengthen the “Square experience”. The objection, that the cathedral is some years away from re-occupation, may be true, but in the interim, the south facing areas of the new City Library offer quiet spaces with views out to the War Memorial. 

In light of these factors it would be highly counter-productive for the council to accede to the RSA’s request to move the Memorial away from Cathedral Square to another city location. 

The RSA submission takes little account of the War Memorial’s function to be a reminder and a memorial of war and sacrifice for everyone, certainly not just for the comrades, family members or descendants of Association members. For instance: thousands of German and Japanese tourists come to Christchurch annually. Those tourists, descendants of some who will have fought against New Zealanders, are most unlikely to make a special trip to another open space to visit the Citizens’ War Memorial relocated there. In fact, because Christchurch Cathedral is so close to the War Memorial, visitors to it are provided with a magnificent, enclosed space whose prime purpose is to give people of any and all persuasions a place in which to reflect. 

The Citizens’ War Memorial, when viewed from east of The Square, presents a relatively plain rear façade. This is not a significant problem given the extent of the surrounding built environment, but if it were to be shifted to another open city space, this would present a serious visual difficulty given the possibly long vistas from any direction. The Memorial is absolutely a site-specific monument and as such is totally unsuitable for shifting away from its designated site. The Christchurch Civic Trust has a particular concern for urban planning matters and is alarmed at the ramifications for inner city neighbourhood living that any shift would raise: siting, orientation, impact on living values and the like.  

It appears to have been all too easy for the RSA to claim some sort of ownership of the Citizens’ War Memorial. It commemorates the ultimate sacrifice made by men and women from Canterbury, but those who remember are in fact all people – from greater Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand, the globe. The memorial is owned by the citizens of Christchurch and is administered and cared for by the funds from those ratepayers. The RSA’s line of thinking, that the War Memorial must be shifted at its request, may well be borne of years of post-earthquakes frustration, but it carries an ill-founded proprietorial attitude and fails to take into account all relevant heritage and urban planning factors. 

I’d like to conclude with a brief comment from Professor Chris Kissling, Chair Christchurch Civic Trust: “The submission certainly represents my personal view regarding the war memorial staying where it is. I do not believe the restoration work on the Cathedral requires the shift of the war memorial and I have not seen any cogent arguments for such an undertaking. 

The Citizens’ War Memorial is not a chess piece to be moved from square to square at the whim of current players who have decision-making power.” 

The Christchurch Civic Trust and Historic Places Canterbury both urge Mayor and Councillors to reject the request by the RSA for the removal of the Citizens’ War Memorial from the heart of the city, Cathedral Square. 

Historic Places Canterbury Deputation to The Christchurch City Council Draft Heritage Strategy 2019-2019

Historic Places Canterbury Deputation to Christchurch City Council.

Thursday 27thSeptember 2017.

“Thank You” Mayor and Councillors for granting Historic Places Canterbury’s (HPC) Request to make this Deputation.

This Deputation is made in reference to the Draft Heritage Strategy, Item 28 on today's Council Meeting Agenda.

HPC is aware it is proposed that the Draft Heritage Strategy be put out for Consultation and a Panel Hearing, and this Deputation confines itself to the process of Engagement used.

HPC commends the Councillors for adopting a process of Engagement where the Community and Individuals drove the formulation of the Draft Heritage Strategy. HPC also Commends the CCC Heritage who with professionalism and a vigour, almost bordering on enthusiasm, engaged the Community. It is this Chairs opinion there cannot be many individuals or community groups who missed out on the Council Heritage Team’s determined Engagement.

  1. Firstly, Historic Places Canterbury wishes to formally record a Thank You, to you the Councilors, who approved the Engagement that effectively allowed the Heritage Team to go out to the Community and ask what they wanted in their Heritage Strategy. As HPC Chair I Would like to record my appreciation for the leadership shown by the Councillors who participated in the Engagement.

As Chair I heard the Mayor, Councillors Clearwater and Galloway participated in Workshops and Councillors Livingstone and Johanson attended the Community Report Back.  For those Councillors who attended Engagement Events and I have omitted to mention, please accept my apologies, as my excuse is the Engagement was so extensive it was difficult to keep up with who attended where.


  1. Historic Places Canterbury requests the Councillors pass on to the Heritage Team our appreciation of the design of the Engagement process and its execution, that led up to this Draft Heritage Strategy.

Their efforts were recognized with a Commendation at this year’s Canterbury Heritage Awards.

As Chair there are two snapshots that sum up the Heritage Teams approach:

  1. The Heritage Team Social, Community Development Housing Committee report on what I call the Research Phrase. I considered the report and its contents to be very good one and as you will be aware, I lobbied quite hard at the coffee break for its findings to be reported back to the Community. The Heritage Team were so immersed in the process they may have not been aware of the interest in the report’s contents. I received a phone later in the day seeking my informal feedback on an outline for a proposed community report back. They were quick to respond to any suggestions and adjust their processes.
  2. Draft Heritage Strategy Workshop: One participant observed to me "You open your mouth and four Council Staff start taking notes".

HPC considers that an Engagement Process as followed by the Heritage Team, where open, practical, flexible and very early stakeholder involvement occurs will lead to a solution that is more acceptable and effective. HPC considers this should be the Christchurch City Council template.


Mark Gerrard
Chair Historic Places Canterbury


“Heritage advocate accuses council of being ‘overly secretive’ as they discuss Christchurch historic buildings in secret” The Press Online Article (010218)

Heritage advocate accuses council of being 'overly secretive' as they discuss Christchurch historic buildings in secret The Press online:

"A heritage advocate is accusing Christchurch City Council of being "overly secretive" regarding the future of the city's heritage buildings.

Historic Places Canterbury chairman Mark Gerrard has been unable to find out any information on the council's plans for the future of heritage buildings, ..."

The Press Reports On HPC Deputation To CCC Committee (01-02-2018)

The Press reported on Historic Places Canterbury Deputation (HPC) to the CCC Social, Community Development and Housing Committee. (The Deputation was made HPC Chair Mark Gerrard

"Heritage advocate accuses council of being 'overly secretive' as they discuss Christchurch historic buildings in secret"


Manchester Street Bus Super Stop : Historic Places Canterbury Deputation To The C.C.C. Infrastructure, Transport And Environment Committee

The following is the text of the Historic Places Canterbury Deputation to the Christchurch City Council Infrastructure, Transport And Environment Committee.

The text of the Deputation is as follows:

Deputation to the
Christchurch City Council Infrastructure, Transport and Environment Committee.
3rd September 2015

Historic Places Canterbury : “Deputation to the Christchurch City Council Communities Housing and Economic Development Committee. 7th May 2015”

historic_places_cant_purple_logoThe Deputation included supplementary material of images taken from a Donovan Rypkema Workshop as well as copies of the:
“Older, Smaller, Better : Measuring how the character of buildings and blocks influences urban vitality” Study.
The following is the text of the Deputation.

Heritage Building Owner Nicky Arts Deputation To The C.C.C. Community Committee (15th April 2014)

Nicky Arts co-owns one of the shops in the Duncan's Building in High Street and is determined to restore  it!
We  recommend you read her Deputation as she describes the problems of being a restoring owner and dealing with CERA/CCDU.
Her  Deputation can be found on  her lively  and very readable blog-
"How not to Repair a Heritage Building in the Christchurch Central City. part 142….  "ShakyTown Blues- http://cardmakerschc.wordpress.com/

The Press reported on her C.C.C. Deputation: "High St 'paralysed' by Cera indecision"     http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/business/the-rebuild/9945921/High-St-paralysed-by-Cera-indecision

The CCC Media Release is as follows: (more…)

Deputation From Historic Places Canterbury To The CCC Community Committee (11th Feb 2014)

The following is the text of a Deputation made to the  CCC Community  Committee on the 11th Feb 2014.  Areas covered Majestic Theatre, New Regent Street Digital Experience, CCC host a Minister Finlayson heritage speech and the Public Trust building.

Deputation to the Christchurch City Council Community Committee by Historic Places Canterbury. (11th February 2014) (more…)

“Draft heritage buildings and places recovery programme for greater Christchurch (December 2013) Published 20 December, 2013 by Editor”


An updated Draft Heritage Recovery Programme has been publicly released for further consultation!

Comment: This Programme's  first deadline was October 2011.
“Draft Recovery Strategy for Greater Christchurch” Built Heritage Recovery Plan:
“When? Scope of plan approved by Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery by October 2011.”

The above is an extract from an "Abridged Timeline" that was part of a Deputation to the Christchurch City Council Earthquake Recovery Committee (5th December 2013) which sought the release of the Programme.

The relevant text of the Deputation is as follows: