Since its formation, Historic Places Wellington (HPW) has focussed its advocacy on a number of heritage buildings. Please click on the link to read more about each building:
- Harcourts Building, Lambton Quay
- Lower Hutt Town Hall and Horticultural Hall
- US Marines Hall, Titahi Bay
- GHQ Building, Taranaki Street (former defence building)
- Erskine College, Island Bay
- Turnbull House, Bowen Street
- Karori Campus, Karori
- Gordon Wilson Flats, The Terrace (scroll down to the bottom of this page).
Our chairperson Felicity Wong gave a presentation to U3A Wellington city on 31 August 2021 on Built Heritage Challenges. You can read a summary of it here. One of the challenges is city planning – as outlined in “‘Character’ at risk” below.
‘Character’ at risk
In 2020 Wellington City Council issued a Draft Spatial Plan. “The Spatial Plan is essentially a ‘blueprint’ for our city that sets out a plan of action for where and how we should grow and develop.” The draft plan reduced current inner city “character” areas (where pre-1930 houses generally need a resource consent before demolishing) by 71%. We opposed this drastic reduction. You can read our submission below or click here.
The Council received over 3000 submissions and voted on a revised plan (which ‘only’ reduced character areas by 50%). However, the council voted to go back to the c. 71% loss of the draft plan in its District Plan. You can read more and see how each councillor voted in this Scoop article.
Ben Schrader, urban historian and HPW committee member, wrote this opinion piece on 1 July 2021. There has been further consultation on the Draft District Plan and Proposed District Plan. We have made submissions on all of these.
In addition to our work on the buildings above (as noted on the relevant pages) we have made the following submissions; you can download a PDF copy by clicking the links.
- A submission on the Natural and Built Environments Bill, February 2023
- A submission on the Wellington City Council’s Proposed District Plan, September 2022.
- Suggestions for members to help make a submission on the WCC’s Proposed District Plan, August 2022.
- A submission on the Wellington City Council’s Draft District Plan, December 2021
- A submission to Let’s Get Wellington Moving, December 2021
- A submission to Parliament’s Environment Committee on the RMA (Enabling Housing) Bill, November 2021. Our submission (including oral) focussed mainly on the Bill removing rights of appeal.
- A submission to Ministry for Culture and Heritage on Heritage Policy for Government agencies, November 2021.
- We wrote a letter to the Minister of Housing about the former Parkview Clinic and Ewart Hospital site Newtown in September 2021: Housing Minister Parkview Sept 2021
- A submission to Parliament’s Environment Select Committee inquiry on the Natural and Built Environments Bill (4 August 2021)
- A submission on the Government Policy Statement on Housing and Urban Development (GPS-HUD), 30 July 2021
- A submission on the WCC’s Draft Arts Strategy (10 May 2021)
- A submission on the WCC’s Long Term Plan (10 May 2021)
- A submission on the WCC’s Draft Spatial Plan (5 October 2020).
- A guide for making submissions on the WCC’s draft spatial plan.
- Our media release about WCC’s spatial plan: Media Release 30 July 2020 WCC spatial plan
- We wrote to Wellington’s mayor to ask for a delay to consultation on the city council’s spatial plan: Letter to Mayor Foster Planning for Growth spatial plan July 2020 and again in August 2020: 2nd letter to Mayor Foster
- We made a submission on the WCC’s draft annual plan (June 2020): HPW sub on WCC draft Annual Plan 2020
- We made a submission to the RMA review (February 2020): RMA submission
- We made a submission on the proposed National Policy Statement on Urban Development: HPW Submission on Proposed NPS Urban Development Oct 2019
- We made a submission to Wellington City Council on its Planning for Growth consultation in May 2019: Submission on WCCs Planning For Growth 2019
- We made a submission to the Wellington City Council on its priority routes consultation in November 2018: Earthquake prone buildings and priority routes consultation
- We made a submission in November 2018 to Hutt City Council supporting Plan change 52, which aims to align their District Plan with Heritage NZ’s List: HPW submission to Hutt City Council on plan change 52. And a further submission: Submission 2 on Plan change 52 Hutt
- In October 2018 we wrote a second letter to the Chinese Ambassador about two terrace houses at 53-55 Rugby Street that we would like to see them preserve. Rugby St houses letter Oct 2018
- In July 2018 we responded to the Ministry for Culture and Heritage’s survey on measures for strengthening heritage protection in NZ: MCH survey HPW
- In May 2018 we sent a letter to the Chinese ambassador about two non-listed houses at 53 and 55 Rugby Street owned by the Chinese embassy. Letter sent to Chinese embassy
- In May 2018 we gave a written submission to the Wellington City Council on its draft long-term plan, and also an oral submission: HPW oral submission to WCC on long term plan 2018
- We made a submission to Wellington City Council on a proposed road stopping affecting Nott House, a c.1860 house in Middleton Road Glenside (November 2017).
- We gave advice to help set up a new heritage group in the Wairarapa (October 2017).
- We made a submission on Wellington City Council’s Annual Plan 2017-18.
- We assisted Historic Places Aotearoa (HPA) with advice on a number of matters, including their launch and their submission on the Heritage New Zealand Bill. We also made our own submission on the Heritage New Zealand Bill.
- Wellington City Long Term Plan – as New Zealand Historic Places Trust (NZHPT) Wellington Branch Committee, we submitted on a range of issues including seismic strengthening, roading, and assistance to heritage building owners.
- We wrote a letter to the Wellington City Council in Nov 2016 about the fate of the former Erskine College: Erskine letter Nov 2016 (PDF)
- US Marines 70th Anniversary – as NZHPT Wellington Branch Committee, we arranged for a grant from NZHPT project funds for refurbishment of display panels at the site of the Paekakariki Marines Camp, and representatives of the committee attended the celebrations there on 28 May 2012. For more information on the US Marines at Paekakariki see either Marines NZ or the Kapiti District Council heritage trail information.
- We supported an application by the Friends of Mount Street Cemetery for lottery funding for fencing and signs in the cemetery.
- We made a submission to a proposed change to the Hutt District Plan altering the controls over development on the Petone West commercial area. Our submission drew attention to the risk of adverse effects on the Jackson Street Heritage Zone and the need to mitigate these.
- We have commented on several proposals to add historic places to the register from the then New Zealand Historic Places Trust, now Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga.
- We made a submission on the Wellington City Council’s (WCC) review of Open Spaces, seeking better recognition of the heritage values in these spaces.
- We prepared submissions on a Bill amending the Building Act, which were incorporated into a submission by our national body, HPA. The Bill was to introduce a new regime for earthquake-prone buildings.
- We made a submission to the WCC on its draft management plan for the Wellington Botanic Gardens.
- In 2015, we contributed to HPA’s submission to Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga on its five draft policy documents. We also contributed to HPA’s submission to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE)’s review of the Emergency Management Building Act and HPA’s submission to the select committee considering the Building (Earthquake-prone Buildings) Amendment Bill.
Victoria University of Wellington, which owns the Gordon Wilson Flats at 320 The Terrace, wishes to demolish the building. It is not currently habitable. A city council panel approved the proposal to take the Gordon Wilson flats off the council’s heritage list. The Architectural Centre appealed the decision. The decision from the Environment Court on Gordon Wilson Flats came out on 9 August 2017. The appeal by the Architectural Centre was allowed and Gordon Wilson Flats should not be taken off the Council’s heritage list.
The decision noted that the appeal process had: “provided information that raises the heritage significance architecturally, socially and technically … of the GWF. Rather than diminishing the building’s heritage value … it has in fact strengthened the reasons for it to be listed” (at ). For more information about the Gordon Wilson Flats as architectural heritage, see the website of the Architectural Centre. And, also, on the DOCOMOMO NZ website.
July 2020: the university presented its plans for the site, which includes renovating the Maclean Flats but demolishing Gordon Wilson Flats. Here are a few articles about it. Stuff July 29 and Stuff 30 July; Scoop July 29.
Urban historian Ben Schrader gives a useful overview of the building’s history and significance on the Bay Heritage website here.
This photo shows the colour scheme in the 1970s (from NZ Architect, No. 5 1978):
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