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Andrea Farminer will start on Monday, replacing former Dunedin City Council heritage policy planner Dan Windwood, who resigned in August to take up a role with the Auckland Council.
The Surrey native has worked as heritage planner for almost 30 years and has a background in archaeology, building conservation and planning.
She moved to Dunedin about 10 years ago to complete a doctorate in cultural geography, examining how people and the spaces they inhabit co-exist, and for the past six years had worked for Origin Consultants in Dunedin.
One of Dr Farminer's main goals in her new role is to expand the city's focus on heritage outside of the warehouse precinct to other areas such as South Dunedin.
''I'm very keen to make sure the lower level and less obvious heritage areas and buildings don't get overlooked.''
The Mayfair theatre was an example of a heritage building outside the centre city which had been successfully protected, she said.
Working with the private property owners to protect the city's residential heritage would also be part of her job description as the second generation plan became operative.
''We have some stunning resident areas which are the fabric of our city and character of our city and I'm pleased to see some of the changes in the 2GP recognise residential townscapes as worth protecting.''
She also wanted to continue former council heritage policy planner Glen Hazelton's legacy in the Warehouse development.
Extending the redevelopment of the area further south and west into Princes St would also be a priority, she said.
''It's doing so well, but like all projects unless you had good incentives and partnerships things tend to lag a little bit.''
It was important the human element of heritage was not overlooked.
''To me, people are essential to heritage, often people think it's all about buildings or objects but actually it is all about what people value,'' she said.