New Zealand’s contribution to the Heritage at Risk 2000 report highlighted a number of issues of concern to our heritage industry. They included specific places at risk, including the Auckland volcanic landscape and the Cook Landing Site National Historic Reserve. As well, we considered types of heritage or themes at risk in New Zealand including:

  • archaeological heritage and associated cultural landscapes affected by urbanisation and subdivision in the northern North Island

  • the earliest colonial heritage and associated cultural landscapes affected by encroaching incompatible development

  • modern (post-1940s) buildings

  • maritime heritage

  • historic heritage in conflict with natural heritage values

  • ‘humble’ heritage.

Sadly we can report that little has changed. There has been a significant improvement in the status of part of the Auckland volcanic landscape in the designation and declaration of the Otuataua stonefield in South Auckland as a historic reserve.

Apart from this major gain, the status of the other places and issues noted has not changed or improved. Perceptions of heritage remain fixed on concepts of age or visual appeal. However, changed sector arrangements, including the establishment of a new national ministry and appointment of key staff, have the potential to produce greater clarity of vision and purpose for the sector and co-ordinated programmes of education, policy and protection strategies.

ICOMOS New Zealand