The following is the text of an article by Elizabeth Pishief that appeared in Oculus (September 2021).
I was part of a working group of HPA and ICOMOS New Zealand members that prepared a joint submission to the Environment Committee Inquiry on the ‘exposure draft’ of the Natural and Built Environments Bill (NBE Bill) and the associated parliamentary paper.
This bill is intended to replace the Resource Management Act 1991, which no longer adequately protects the natural or cultural environment while allowing for appropriate development.
We collectively believe cultural heritage in its many forms (eg, archaeological sites, cultural landscapes, buildings, objects, wāhi tapū, and wāhi tūpuna places) provides an understanding of New Zealand’s development, and the sense of place and connection between people and their environment that contribute to individual and national wellbeing. We think that replacing ‘historic heritage’ with the term ‘cultural heritage’ better reflects the breadth of our current and evolving heritage including intangible heritage such as sacred mountains and recent built heritage like post-war/early modernist buildings. It is crucial Parliament hears how ordinary people and communities value cultural heritage.