Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Martha's Corner Should Be Saved

 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 charter.