This is a submission on the Draft Annual Plan which is a financial plan.
Christchurch City Council Draft Annual Plan 2022-2023
From Historic Places Canterbury
Mayor and Councillors,
Historic Places Canterbury (HPC) wishes to acknowledge the work and professionalism of the Council's Heritage Team and requests the Councillors to pass on our appreciation of their work.
HPC in addition wishes to draw the attention of the Councillors to the Canterbury Stories web site initiative. HPC commends the Council for funding work on this project.
Our initial contacts with them has been very positive and HPC is sure the project will have strong community support. Our contacts outside Christchurch have expressed real interest in this initiative.
HPC requests this projects funding be continued.
HPC considers the continual restoration of its (CCC) earthquake damaged Heritage buildings to be a real success. HPC requests the Council pass on our appreciation to those staff involved.
Specifically, HPC requests the Councillors adjust the Draft Annual Plan for the following:
Christchurch City Council Heritage Team
HPC requests the Council Heritage Team be restored to its pre-COVID staffing levels and make an adjustment to the funding accordingly.
The CCC deferred from filling a Team Heritage vacant position due to the financial influence of COVID.
HPC is requesting this vacant position be filled as it has been our experience the Heritage Team's expertise is required both internally and externally.
Councillors will recall our recent Public Forum presentations where we noted the lack of Heritage Team input and advice in CCC Reports.
The Heritage Team's work will increase as the Government's intention to intensify our City will place additional strain on the preserving our Heritage. Due to the Government measures we face the real prospect of significant loss of Heritage that would qualify but has not yet been assessed for protection by the Heritage Team.
HPC considers the District Plan is not as representative of our Heritage and extra effort needs to made to rectify this. HPC would like to remind the Councillors a couple of years ago we found that scheduled Heritage Buildings were just (if I recall correctly) just 0.25% of the total building stock) so Heritage is rare.
Heritage Incentive Grants- The Tangible Fund
HPC requests at minimum, the full reinstatement of the grant to its highest previous levels (between $800,000-900,00).
Reinstating it to its previous levels will bring operational parity with the Intangible Fund.
HPC considers there is an imbalance as applications for built heritage are generally more cash intensive so the funding for the Tangible Fund should reflect this and needs to be raised. "Our Heritage Our Taonga" Heritage Strategy commits the Council to supporting and partnering with the Community in the retention of our Heritage and the funding must reflect this.
HPC argues BOTH the Tangible and Intangible Funds should be well supported to be effective.
This is not a case of one or another but both together.
HPC requests the Cemetery Repair Fund be reinstated.
The CCC is to be commended for having a specialist Cemetery Team. (HPC has complimented their work in a past Public Forum presentation.) The systematic repair of these Heritage Objects will supplement their work and will enjoy public support.
In addition there is a Bill before Parliament that will very likely direct the Council to take responsibility for cemetery maintenance. Setting aside funds for repair is the CCC preparing for the inevitable.
Robert McDougall Gallery- Deferment of work on Weathertightness
HPC requests the Councillors give an assurance that delaying the work in making the Gallery weathertight will not cause (further?) damage to its heritage material.
HPC is asking for this as we can find no reference in the Draft Plan to any report stating that the proposed delay will not materially affect the heritage material of the building.
If no report exists HPC requests the Councillors seek one before making the final decision.
The Provincial Council Buildings
HPC supports that funds have set aside for work on the complex.
HPC requests the CCC actively seek a lasting solution on the future of these important and much loved Heritage buildings.
HPC understands this is a complex situation however we are sure Christchurch residents and yourselves agree a solution is long overdue.
Vacant Land Rate Differential
HPC requests that for the proposed Vacate Land Rate Differential a provision allowing for discretion for Heritage and Character buildings be added.
HPC is concerned the proposed new Rate in its application should not become a contributing factor in a buildings demise.
HPC considers that an increased funding of the Tangible Fund (HIG grants etc) empowers the CCC Heritage Team to be more proactive and achieve more positive outcomes..
Aside from the above requests, HPC endorses the Draft Plan in relation to what is proposed for Heritage.
HPC is pleased the repair of the Cunningham House renewal is on the budget. The Botanical Gardens are one of Christchurch jewels and Cunningham House is an integral part of the Parks experience.
Barbadoes Street Cemetery Sextons House Renewal
HPC is pleased work is planned for this building, as it is long overdue. However if the renewal is to be delayed as proposed, HPC requests an assurance the building will made very secure. HPC has knowledge of other CCC buildings where this has not happened.
HPC has seen the initial installations and looks forward to the continued rollout of the program.
"Our Heritage Our Taonga" CCC Heritage Strategy
"Kia kōmiroa, kia whiria ngā weu kia ū, Kia roa, kia pītonga ai te taura
we lengthen and strengthen the essence within
As we weave together new strands into our rope,
We work together to recognise, protect and celebrate our heritage, which weaves our stories and places together, and is vital to the identity and wellbeing of our communities and the district."
Chair Historic Places Canterbury