Monday, June 4, 2012

Who do you think you are kidding Mr Walsh?

In todays New Zaland  Herald the spin doctor for the New Zaland Institute of   architects wrote a critical feature .This should not be left unanswered.

This is my reply.

 Mr Walsh mistakenly suggests supporters of heritage
protection have closed minds and are opposed to modern
homes. Every year, hundreds of people renovate and update
villas to meet the needs of twenty first century families.

Hakanoa Street evolved over decades not by demolition and
replacement, but by sensitive restoration and modernization.
Mr Walsh’s suggestion that villas are simply “boxes with
protuberances and sloping roofs attached” is rather
shallow. Having renovated three villas, I understand they
are part of our built and cultural heritage to pass onto
future generations.

Villas, bungalows and cottages in Ponsonby and Grey Lynn
have accommodated successive generations of various social
classes over time. Mr Walsh recalls when urban professionals
discovered them and argues the inhabitants of traditionally
working-class and often Polynesian parts of inner Auckland
didn’t demand newcomers adopt rugby league and taro. He
misses the point. It’s not social history supporters of
heritage protection seek to preserve, but their built
heritage.

Mr Walsh is a communications manager promoting architects to
design homes that meet both clients’ needs and city
planning regulations. The issue isn’t about architectural competence.Its about heritage rules and all power to those who are prepared to stand up for them.