Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Stucco In the Middle

The Auckander weekly paper published an article in its edition of 23 September , 2010 on the loss of more Heritage housing in St Heliers.
This demolition is by the selfish and the ignorant .Yes the usual culprits who have wrecked so much damage in both culturally and economically to our city. I salute the organisations and media who strive to protect our heritage and the writers who also lift awareness of the importance our heritage.

Below is my letter to the Aucklander.

Your story about the loss of the Art Deco houses in St Heliers is timely .

Lynne Scott is right. Her concerns are shared experiences of Aucklanders right across our city.

The desecration, destruction or removal of heritage buildings is a tangible loss to many. It also can affect the economic viabilty of our whole region.

Developers and their apologists such as Wendy Casperson choose to take a very narrow view.

Citzens are often concerned by the atitudes of developers and the local business association managers rarely live in the neighborhood affected. Many of the developers also declear making little money and pay no tax. It is dificult to discern if they have any community concern.

The St Heliers Village Association is the local business association in drag . It is not an independent residents association .Do Wendy and her association actually know what they are doing? Will it make doing business better? Will it provide more income for businesses?

In Ponsonby the proponents of the SOHO developmemt and their local business allies spoke in the same language and advanced the same auguments as Wendy.

Ponsonby has a hole in the ground. It is certainluy not an asset to Ponsonby.
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If the St Heliers Village Asociation did some reseaerch they would they would find that their ecomomic viabilty would be secured by the protection and maintenance of these buildings.

The interactive tourist who visits Auckland and spends the most money, values heritage . They spend in Ponsonby and Parnell not in Takapuna or Newmarket.. Newmarket has fought back with the Osbourne Street development which has been made a heriatge zone and is pumping and by looking after their few remainng heritage buildings.
It is not too late to stop this develpment .I hope Lynne and Keith and St Heliers residenst are able to find the funding to appeal.

However they have to change the rules around non notified consents so that communities can have some say . Sadly, the spatial plan for the new city does not proivde any protection for neighbourhoods. One of the first jobs of the new council will be to address this issue .