New heritage trust to be set up

A new heritage trust will be of "huge benefit" to the district, Queenstown Lakes Mayor Vanessa van Uden says.

The matter was discussed at last week's full Queenstown Lakes District Council meeting, where the council resolved to combine representatives of heritage groups throughout the district and establish a single trust.

The new trust will prioritise heritage items.

The recommendation said the trust's purpose would be to undertake restoration and conservation work for an outcome of "preservation and celebration of the district's local heritage".

The trust would only be responsible for "priority" sites and all other heritage work would remain the responsibility of other organisations.

The council would contribute $5000 a year to the trust.

Council policy planning general manager Philip Pannett said the trust would seek funding to ensure the protection of "priority items" and try to ensure the community was "more successful in protecting heritage items in the future".

Last Monday Queenstown and District Historical Society chairman Bill Dolan told the Queenstown Times the council lacked a "strong heritage champion".

Mr Dolan said the historic society felt it no longer had easy access to the mayor and chief executive.

This was because of changes in the council structure, he said.

At Tuesday's meeting Ms van Uden said she was concerned Mr Dolan felt that way.

She told the Queenstown Times she and council chief executive Debra Lawson had been two of the "drivers" for the heritage project.

To have the one trust would be of "huge benefit", she said.

"If you can get the people with the passion and commitment in the one place they will do a great job."

Councillor Mel Gazzard and Mr Dolan were nominated as trustees.

Other representatives will be chosen from other district heritage groups.

The Department of Conservation (Doc), the One Mile Power House Trust, the Arrowtown Trust, The Queenstown Heritage Trust and the Rotary Shotover Bridge Restoration Trust were likely to be involved.

Proposed partnerships with New Zealand Historic Places Trust, Doc, QLDC, Queenstown and District Historical Society and the Lakes District Museum were also included in the recommendation.



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