Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Enough is Enough


The following letter was published in the New Zealand Herald Wednesday 29 December 2010 in response to a letter from Councillor  Mike Lee in the New Zealand Herald Monday 27 December 2010

No one doubts the commitment of the former Auckland  Regional Council, especially Mike Lee and Sandra Coney, to the heritage buildings that are crucial to the Wynyard Quarter.
 However Aucklanders are concerned that despite a change in council,  the people we elected have not been able to stop the destruction of important buildings.
Mike Lee in his letter sums up best that the Art Deco society will have its day in court supported by Sandra Coney and himself.  There is no guarantee that the buildings listed by the Auckland Regional Council will be protected.
All sympathize with councillors Lee and Coney’s’ frustration. However what resources would The Historic Places Trust and  a small group like the Art deco society have? Courts are expensive places to go.
People voted by significant margins for a change of council  because they were exasperated by the time and costs involved in going to court and because they wanted a  council to stand up.  
 Now  is a time for leadership. Regardless of previous councils back room deals, we need the council to draw a line in the sand and send a message to all those who wish to destroy our city’s heritage, that their time is over .
Enough is enough.

Friday, December 24, 2010

We voted for a change

The decisions of Mayor Brown and his council to allow the demolition of important buildings at Wynyard  Quarter are distressing . Tens of thousands of Aucklanders voted for Mayor Brown and his team because we wanted change.  It now apparent that it is business as usual as the former council officers continue as if nothing has changed. Wanting to keep heritage buildings is not just sentiment .They are important to us for many  reasons;  economically they can help local business to prosper as visitors look for something different.  This is not rocket science .    Mayor Brown  must listen to the people and not be lead by his council officers. He needs to show leadership  or suffer the indignity of being a one term mayor. Five hundred people in St Heliers did not give up a Sunday afternoon for the hell of it .  We all want to live in Auckland and  want the city to reflect our values and for it to develop in such  a way that enhances what we have. Future generations also  have the  right to the  physical beauty of our buildings and the  streetscapes we enjoy .
Published  in the New Zealand Herald   Friday    24 December 2010

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Letter of the week New Zealand Herald 4 December 2010

The return of the Kestrel to Waitamata harbour is a wonderful Christmas
present for the Auckland maritime and heritage community. All great maritime
cities have a fleet of working heritage vessels. The Kestrel was one of the
jewels of the Auckland maritime scene and of the national maritime scene.
The sooner the Kestrel can be recommissioned and put back into use the
better for Auckland and our Tourism industry. It is not just the beauty of
the boat, but its social history that goes back 105 years that is important
to us all.

Many of us shed more than a few tears when the Stagecoach Company bought out
our local ferry company Fullers. One of Stagecoach's first actions was to
sell the Kestrel. At that time the Kestrel was not only well loved and
patronised by many people of Auckland (citizens and visitors alike) it was
also maintained to the highest condition at the insistence of George Hudson,
the managing director of Fullers at that time.

Let us hope that our maritime history continues to be valued for future
generations of Aucklanders.