It is with great sadness that I report the passing of John Daniels.
John Daniels, was the first Chairman of Historic Places Wellington when it was launched in 2012, and stepped down from the committee earlier this year.
John joined the Wellington Branch Committee of Historic Places Trust in 2011 in order to assist with the challenging task of changing that committee to a fully independent nongovernmental organisation as was required by the Government legislation which was subsequently passed as Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Act 2014. Over these difficult few years John had primary responsibility for shaping the role HPW would take and its relationship with the national body of Historic Places Aotearoa, as well as engaging with the Government on the heritage legislation. John stepped down from the chairmanship after passage of the legislation but took over the job of Treasurer for the next two years.
John was subsequently appointed to the Executive of Historic Places Aotearoa where he was a wealth of knowledge and wisdom. He has assisted with the preparation of a number of HPA policies and documents during his time on the Executive and we missed him when he resigned at the 2017 AGM, although he continued to assist when called upon.
As many will know, John’s career in heritage work has been a long and distinguished one. His early civil service career was mainly in the Department of Internal Affairs, where he served inter alia as Senior Research Officer. Alongside his work, he was active in archaeology, joining the Wellington Archaeological Society and being the Site Recording Scheme central file keeper for some 14 years. He was also a Council Member of the NZ Archaeological Association and a member of the Onslow Historic Society. In 1971 he was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Historic Places Trust (now Heritage New Zealand) and served in that capacity for 17 years, retiring in 1988. In retirement he did some contract work on heritage issues as well as voluntary work as a committee member and also chairman of the Friends of the Bolton Street Cemetery. John’s wealth of experience in heritage work has been a huge asset for Historic Places Wellington and he will be greatly missed.
John will be sadly missed by the heritage fraternity and we all have some rather large boots to fill.
Our thoughts go out to John's family.
JAMES BLACKBURNE President Historic Places Aotearoa
2017 is shaping up to be a very busy year. The primary focus for many will be the national election which is scheduled to be held on the 23rd September. This provides an opportunity for those that value heritage to influence our politicians in a meaningful way. First, by challenging them with respect to what their party policies are towards the protection and funding for heritage and secondly by voting.
Historic Places Aotearoa will be working with several other like minded NGO’s over the coming months to prepare a document aimed at providing some guidance for the various political parties as to how we believe heritage should be managed. This is expected to look at 4 areas:-
1. Ideas around the formulation of a National Heritage Policy Statement. This is something that has been talked about for years but no government has been willing to progress this notion of what heritage really means to New Zealanders.
2. How government will manage its own built heritage resources. The destruction of the Category I listed Aniwaniwa Visitor Centre in 2016 shows that the current management of the Crown owned heritage buildings is woeful and needs to be overhauled. The Crown needs to lead by example when it comes to the care and management of our nations heritage.
3. Legislative Protection. What changes to the law are required to ensure that our most valuable heritage fabric is protected for future generations.
4. Funding and Initiatives. What funding and initiatives are required to ensure that the New Zealand public understand the importance of maintaining our heritage. It is unique and it is one of the things that defines us as New Zealanders, along with our forests and birds, our sporting, scientific and cultural achievements and our climate. Each one of these elements are important, but our built environment is not well looked after and built heritage is not well understood.
If you are reading this you are likely to be someone who believes that our built heritage is important and I encourage you to question your local politician about their views on our heritage before the election. The more people that do this the more likely it is the heritage will be have a voice within the walls of government.
Heritage views to be aired at Historic Places Aotearoa AGM
Government policy on how the country’s heritage is protected and managed will be a hot topic at this weekend’s Historic Places Aotearoa’s annual general meeting in Hawke’s Bay.
Keynote speakers, Acting Civil Defence Minister Craig Foss and Labour’s arts, culture and heritage spokesperson Jacinda Ardern, will address various heritage issues. Mr Foss will deliver the speech for Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Maggie Barry, who is unable to attend.
Historic Places Aotearoa president James Blackburne is thrilled government and opposition representatives will speak at the Historic Places Hawke’s Bay-hosted event.
“This country’s heritage is a significant part of New Zealand’s legacy,” Mr Blackburne said. “Government policy on how it is protected and managed is of huge interest. We invite the public to attend these keynote speeches at the MTG Century Theatre, starting at 12:30pm.” (more…)
Historic Places Aotearoa says Department of Conservation Deputy Director-General Mervyn English must immediately reconsider the planned demolition of the Aniwaniwa Visitor Centre.
“The visitor centre is a significant part of New Zealand’s modern architectural legacy, listed by Heritage New Zealand as a Category One Historic Place, and a place of outstanding cultural value to New Zealand,” Mr Blackburne, who also chairs Historic Places Tairawhiti Inc, said this morning.
Communities around the country are being asked to consider important sport sites and events that took place in their regions as part of celebrating World Heritage Day next Monday 18th April.
With a focus this year on the Heritage of Sport, Historic Places Aotearoaand its Membership Organisations asks locals to consider which sports site or ground they would like to keep as part of their, and New Zealand’s, sporting heritage.
Historic Places Aotearoa President James Blackburne says that with sport a big part of life for most Kiwis, World Heritage Day is a great chance to celebrate our great sporting achievements and the heritage of the grounds where it all happened.
“We know Kiwis love to discuss sport. We can keep our sporting heritage alive by debating and recognising those sports grounds and stadiums where an outstanding sports achievement became our collective history."
“For World Heritage Day next Monday, Historic Places Aotearoa urges local media to ask the community – including the mayor, councillors, sports journalists and sports commentators – to nominate a sports ground worth preserving and tell us what special sporting achievement occurred there.”
James Blackburne President Historic Places Aotearoa