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.


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