Cantabrian’s deserve to have their voices heard when it comes to the future of heritage buildings, says Labour’s Spokesperson for Arts Culture and Heritage, Jacinda Ardern.
“In the aftermath of the quakes, extraordinary powers were given to CERA through section 38 of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act to demolish damaged heritage buildings without consultation.
“Three years on from the quakes, the time has come for that overarching authority to end, and for communities to be able to once again have their say on the future of the city’s remaining heritage buildings.
“Almost 50 per cent of heritage buildings in central Christchurch have already gone. Not one more should come down unless a proper RMA process has been worked through and people have had their say.
“Moves by the Government to form a policy on heritage protection have been too slow. A scoping paper was written in 2012, yet we are still dealing with a draft document.
“In the meantime hundreds of buildings have been lost, including 144 in the CBD alone.
“The time has come for heritage buildings to get the protection they deserve, and for residents to once again have a voice.”
She said the Majestic Theatre – due to be demolished within weeks despite widespread opposition – was a perfect example of why Section 38 powers needed to come to an end.