March 01, 2020
National significance of Ihumatao considered
Heritage New Zealand has upgraded the Ōtuataua Stonefields to its category 1 listing – and it could go higher.
Chief executive Andrew Coleman says an unprecedented 1500 submissions were made to the review requested by Ihumātao protest group Save Our Unique Landscape, compared with the 10 to 30 submissions for a normal review.
The listed area has been enlarged to include the Puketāpapa-Wallace block owned by Fletcher Building, neighbouring Auckland council-owned land and other lands in private ownership, as well as Watercare-administered land going out to the harbour.
He says when the stonefields were given a category 2 listing in 1991, the then-Historic Places Trust was focused on buildings rather than landscapes, but it now looks at the wider stories associated with a place.
Conversations with iwi are continuing.
"Because we want to look at this land not just being category 1. Perhaps it has other categories of significance we could align with it such as wāhi tapu, wāhi tūpuna or in fact under our current legislation 2014, the most significant is a national historic landmark, so we think it has a fantastic story of history and heritage," Mr Coleman says.
It's now up to Auckland Council to determine what the land can be used for under its District Plan.
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