Thursday, January 26, 2012

Paget Street: Community Board should have final say

This was published an abridged  form in the Weekend  Edition of the New Zealand Herald 28 January 2012

The decision to allow the demolition of 18 Paget St  is wrong. A city council report states ‘it was also possible that a different conclusion could have been reached which would have been equally defensible’. So why demolish this house ? The purchaser knew the rules so did council officers who flatly refused to enforce them . In any other job this would be a sacking offense.

Mr McKay realises ‘our community in Auckland is definitely moving to more  protection and more care and concern for our built heritage.’
Aucklanders voted overwhelmingly for councillors to do exactly that . The breakdown has been with the council employees  who don’t believe in heritage and pay lip service to the electorate.
There is some hope that the council has finally learnt and that community boards and senior management be briefed, but is this enough? Will senior management back their elected community boards or will they buckle as they have at Paget and Turua Street? How often have we heard the mantra “it will not happen again”?
The local community boards should always have  the final word to address public concern.