A new heritage rule that controls the demolition of pre-1944
houses has got the nod from the Auckland Council.
The Auckland Plan committee approved the heritage rules in
the draft Unitary Plan this morning, including a
'precautionary' demolition rule in pre-1944 areas before they
are assessed for 'special character' status.
Special character is the new, "more robust" legal term for
those historic suburbs and areas where heritage and street
character controls are in place.
Under the pre-1944 control, homeowners will need a resource
consent to demolish a property. The application could be
subject to public notification.
The council plans to survey the pre-1944 areas by the time
the Unitary Plan becomes operative in about three years.
There are concerns that some streets in parts of the special
character suburbs, such as Mt Eden, Grey Lynn and Herne Bay,
have been excluded from special character status. Other
suburbs, like Westmere, have extensive groupings of pre-1944
bungalows that currently have no character protection.
Council heritage manager Noel Reardon said it was a "big ask'
to assess houses in the pre-1944 areas over the next three
He said the council had assessed five areas this year -
Balmoral, Otahuhu, Onehunga, Mangere, Mt Roskill, saying it
took time and resources to carry out the task.
The council had four staff on the assessment process and used
consultant historians, urban designers, natural heritage
professionals. Maori input was also used.
"Brisbane took 10 years to a do a similar exercise," Mr
The council also voted against a recommendation from officers
to exclude Housing New Zealand from the pre-1944 demolition
An amendment from councillor Cathy Casey gained broad
support. She said Housing New Zealand should play by "our
Unitary Plan manager John Duguid said figures from Housing
New Zealand showed that 25 per cent of its housing stock in
Auckland was older than 1963. The council did not know how
many of those were older than 1944, he said.
The pre-1944 demolition control applies to areas settled
before 1944, not individual houses, such as farm houses.
The draft Unitary Plan includes 66 new items to be added to
the heritage schedule.
- By Bernard Orsman of the New Zealand Herald