Councillor Glenda Fryer has been a real crusader on heritage issues in Auckland over many years. Here is a speech she gave recently at a candidate forum about heritage in the new Supercity:

City Vision is part of a community based political group that  has a proud track record of protecting heritage, both natural and built  heritage.   We are a coalition of Labour, Green and  community independents and have had Councillors on Auckland City Council  since 1998.  We work with Labour Councillors from Tamaki-Maungakeikei.   I have been an Auckland City Councillor for nine years and was  Chair of the Planning and Regulatory Committee 2004-7 that oversaw  significant heritage plan changes.  Three priorities are:  funding upkeep of heritage buildings, ecological heritage protected in  District Plans with removal of tree protections through recent RMA  ammendments, and volcanic cone  protection and management.

What’s our record?

We have focussed on residential character, village centre  character and heritage, ecological heritage with Plan Change 88, and the  heritage protection and management of volcanic cones.

Firstly in terms of residential housing

It is our residential heritage that is familiar to most  Aucklanders.  City Vision promoted Plan Change 163 which  sought mainly to protect from demolition Residential one and two  character houses…in the main villas in Parnell, Mt Eden, and Ponsonby,  and bungalows on large sections with mature trees such as in Epsom,  Herne Bay, Remuera and built before 1940.

I believe that the present Citizens and Ratepayers led  Council has sold us short at the Environment  Court on PC 163.

Village Centre Character and Heritage Buildings

Everyone acknowledges Auckland has lost many of its wonderful heritage buildings, and  the most secure way to protect any remaining is to schedule them in the  District Plan.  In the last term of Council we initiated  Plan changes which protected dozens of character and heritage buildings  all over the city of Auckland. I Chaired Plan changes which scheduled dozens of CBD buildings and character  overlays of shopping centres like Kingsland, Grey Lynn, West Lynn, Eden  Valley, and Ellerslie.

What will City Vision and Labour do under the supercity

The protection of any heritage is about weighing up the  property rights of individual owners with the community and public good  of protecting heritage.

City Vision and Labour views are that while we will do all we  can to work with property owners Council must have the right and  ability to retain heritage buildings through a process of scheduling if  it is in the public good.

Citizens and Ratepayers are of the view that buildings should  only be scheduled if the property owners request it.

Of course the key issue then is to assist the  building owner to upkeep their scheduled buildings.  Heritage buildings are more expensive to refurbish.   At  the present time Auckland City Council has a $50,000 fund to assist  scheduled building owners to upkeep their buildings.  City  Vision and Labour has moved over a dozen times during annual plans to substantially  increase that fund to make us a real ‘international world  class city’ but Citizens and Ratepayers has only funded a ‘third world  city’ amount.  Christchurch City Council has a million  dollar fund for  some years and that has been instrumental in strengthening important  buildings in privately owned hands like churches.

There is a range of innovative ways to protect and modernise  our heritage and City Vision and Labour Councillors will look at all the  options.  Leaving it all to private trusts and  philanthropists may only assist Heritage in more wealthy areas to be  preserved while the poorer parts of the city are left to fend for  themselves or loose their heritage.

Ecological heritage.  As  of Jan 1 2011 tree  protections are gone as a result of recent ammendments to the RMA by the  National Government.   The Banks and Citizens and  Ratepayers Council has refused to initiate a Plan Change to protect any  trees not already scheduled.   I will undertake to fast  forward a Plan change for tree protection of mature trees that have  community, ecological or heritage  significance.

Lastly volanic heritage.  Cone need to  receive protection from development that destroys the visual amenity of  the cone.  I chaired Plan Change 92 to give this protection on some  cones like Mt St John, Mt Hobson Maungawhau and Owairaka.  More cones  need this added protection.  In addition heritage management of cones is  needed if the archeological heritage is not to be destroyed by cattle,  mountian bikes, buses or weeds.

City Vision and Labour are committed to protecting and  restoring Auckland’s heritage.