This blog was published as a letter in the New Zealand Herald today Thursday 15 August, 2013
The buildings that surround Martha’s Corner should be saved.
Nothing less is unacceptable. We have lost too much of our
built heritage and we are much poorer as a result. The ability to tell the important
history and the stories of our city will be further diminished if these
buildings are demolished . This will have a cultural and economic impact far beyond
many folks’ thoughts as well as deprive future generations of their whakapapa and
sense of place.
Since the Christchurch and Wellington earthquakes
the approach that many are taking that buildings have to be knocked down, has
not been thought through thoroughly. Regrettably this view has been given a
currency that in most cases is far from the public interest.
Recent decisions at government level have been helpful on
the time frames in getting heritage buildings up to scratch and do serve the
national interest. This sentiment in the case of Martha’s Corner
has not travelled over the Bombay Hills.
Another compelling factor was this council placed no penalties
on the Chow Brothers for the Aurora Hotel demolition. Many developers may have taken
this as a green light.
Failure to protect these buildings will be a developer’s