Tag: Historic Places Aotearoa

“Where Are The Heritage Policies? – HPA” Historic Places Aotearoa Media Release (04:10:2020)

The lack of heritage policies in party manifestos a fortnight from the country’s General Election is disappointing, says the country’s independent voice for heritage Historic Places Aotearoa.

President James Blackburne says that, to date, only the Greens and New Zealand First have released a heritage-related policy.

“The other parties have either not formed a policy or are yet to present one. We find this extremely disappointing.

“Heritage is an intrinsic part of our country and the communities within it. It makes us who we are and makes us unique globally.

“With potential changes to the Resource Management Act looming, we are conscious and concerned that heritage will take a back seat,” he said.

“Heritage has an economic value for the New Zealand economy. New Zealand is not just about clean and green. Heritage is what a lot of people come to see and is an important part of domestic and international tourism. Heritage tourism visitors not only stay longer, they spend more money.”

Historic Places Aotearoa, which represents member organisations around the country, believes heritage should be visible, valued, indispensable and protected.

“We would like to see the parties offer the VIP treatment for heritage with funding and support for key public initiatives including a national heritage plaques programme, heritage awards and festivals.

“We believe funding should be boosted for key government initiatives such as Heritage Equip support to private building owners, Lotteries grants and tax incentives for heritage projects, and for the heritage team itself at the Ministry of Culture and Heritage.”

Mr Blackburne said heritage agencies needed support with heritage prioritised for protection, planning and funding via local and central government.

“We need to create an environment where heritage becomes indispensable to the economic and social wellbeing of our communities. And we need strong legislation to protect privately and publicly owned heritage sites, as well as making provisions for sympathetic new development in character areas.

“Let’s hear what the parties are offering… and fast.”

Oculus August 2020 Is Out!

The Historic Places Aotearoa "Oculus" newsletter (August 2020) has been released to the Membership Organisations.

Individual members of the HPA Membership Organisations should be soon receiving their copies.

“Historic Places Aotearoa Welcomes Government Tax Changes” Historic Places Aotearoa Media Release April 2020

Historic Places Aotearoa Welcomes Government Tax Changes

Historic Places Aotearoa (HPA) applauds the Government for including depreciation of earthquake strengthening in its COVID-19 stimulation packages, and providing real incentives for commercial heritage building owners.

HPA President James Blackburne said this initiative would be welcomed by commercial heritage building owners facing the burden of earthquake strengthening.

"The depreciation rate of two percent diminishing value is a good first step. We are looking forward to the Government's new heritage initiatives.

"Work on heritage buildings can be quickly made ‘shovel ready’ and this applies to strengthening. This meets the Government’s intention in their Stimulus Bills.”

Mr Blackburne commended Minister Grant Robertson for acting on the Cullen Tax Working Group's recommendation, and the Opposition's Paul Goldsmith for supporting the Bill.

Whanganui District Council councillor Helen Craig welcomed the changes, which the council and local heritage organisations had lobbied long and hard for, due to the city’s significant heritage town centre.

“A full range of incentives are needed to support heritage building redevelopment due to high costs versus the value of buildings, especially in provincial New Zealand.  

“New Zealanders value their heritage but it's rapidly deteriorating and at risk due to age, changing demand and use for inner city spaces, and earthquake strengthening requirements."

Heritage restoration advocate Dame Anna Crighton concurred.

"As chair of a heritage trust restoring two commercial heritage buildings, I can state the changes to depreciation is a prudent and worthwhile practical help.

"Depreciated strengthening supports the ‘adaptive reuse’ of heritage buildings. We can look forward to seeing vibrant heritage buildings in our cities and provincial main streets."


The Government now allows commercial building owners, including heritage building owners, to depreciate the capital cost of earthquake strengthening by 2 percent in diminishing value.

In addition, this will be an incentive for Heritage Building "Adaptive Reuse" Projects where the original use is changed ie, a government building interior is converted to lawyers offices with full IT support.

(The change was made in Section 39 of the COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Act 2020 Public Act 2020 No 8. Date of Ascent March 2020.)

Media Contact: 
James Blackburne
President Historic Places Aotearoa
Moblile: 027 481 8093


Ministry for the Environment Manatū Mō Te Taiao

“Comprehensive review of the resource management system – preliminary questions for initial stakeholder engagement” HPA Submission

The following is the text of the Historic Places Submission:

Dear Review Panel

This submission is made by Historic Places Aotearoa (HPA) which welcomes the opportunity to comment on the issues and options paper relating to the RMA review.
The reasons for making this submission are that HPA promotes the preservation of historic places in Aotearoa New Zealand. HPA also has an interest in promoting the education of the public in the appreciation of heritage values. HPA is a key stakeholder in 
the consultation process and answerable to its affiliated regional societies and affiliated membership.

HPA makes the following two main points. Firstly, we do not wish to see the existing (fairly weak) support for built and other heritage in the RMA further weakened. While heritage is identified as a matter of national significance, in practice the general provision often falls short for actual protection in specific cases. In the last three years, for example, 3 Category 1 Heritage New Zealand listed buildings either have already been demolished or are in the process of being demolished. These are Aniwaniwa (Visitors Center Lake Waikaremoana), Erskin College main block Wellington, and the former teachers college at Karori Wellington.

Countless category 2 buildings have been demolished all around Aotearoa. Councils are generally under resourced to support property owners who are willing to repair substandard heritage buildings. In other cases, owners target heritage buildings as a cheap option for demolition and development. 

HPA supports efforts to make good use of urban space for much needed additional housing etc, but not at the further expense of retaining heritage buildings. 

Secondly, HPA supports the idea to introduce a mechanism for Councils to use spacial planning as a way of directing development into suitable specified areas, and thus provide clearer signals about where development and intensification would be welcome while identifying heritage areas where that is not suitable. 

Yours sincerely

President Historic Places Aotearoa              

HPA “Submission on NATIONAL POLICY STATEMENT – URBAN DEVELOPMENT” ( Ministry for the Environment Manatū Mō Te Taiao


The following is the text of the Historic Places Aotearoa Submission:

Submission on


This submission is made by Historic Places Aotearoa Inc. (HPA) which welcomes the opportunity to comment on the proposed National Policy Statement on Urban Development (NPS-UD).

The reasons for making this submission are that HPA promotes the preservation of historic places in Aotearoa New Zealand. HPA also has an interest to promote the education of the public in the appreciation of heritage values. HPA is a key stakeholder in the consultation process and answerable to its affiliated regional societies and associated membership.

HPA has reviewed the NPS-UD and considered the impact the proposed statement will make with respect to this countries heritage buildings.

HPA has a particular interest in the subject of this NPS-UD, as it has the potential to dramatically change the distinctive heritage character of sections of New Zealand cities and towns.


REMINDER: Historic Places Aotearoa / ICOMOS NZ Joint Conference (2019) Registration Is Due 1st October

The joint Conference is being held in Gisborne Tairāwhiti, on the 11-13 October.

Time has been set aside for Historic Places Aotearoa and ICOMOS NZ to hold their respective AGMs during the Conference.

Registration and payment for the Historic Places Aotearoa and ICOMOS NZ Joint Conference is due 1 October 2019.

HPA President Addresses The Whanganui Heritage Trust AGM (2019)

The following report (and image) of James Blackburne's Whanganui Heritage Trust AGM Presentation appears in the HNZPT "Heritage This Month" e-newsletter.

HPA President James Blackburne (Source HNZPT Heritage This Month)

Key messages given to Whanganui Heritage Trust AGM

Fifty members of the Whanganui Regional Heritage Trust were urged to get out and tell the stories of our heritage places by James Blackburne (pictured), President of Historic Places Aotearoa, at the trust’s recent annual general meeting in Whanganui.

James, an architectural partner based in Gisborne, has been working hard since the formation of Historic Places Aotearoa in 2010 at building a network of likeminded, independent regional heritage organisations in New Zealand.