What is the role of historic heritage on the West Coast in the future?

 Customhouse – Hokitika

Historic heritage includes: 

  • Historic sites, structures, places and areas 
  • Archaeological sites 
  • Sites of significance to Māori, including wahi tapu 
  • Surroundings associated with the natural and physical resources. 

The National Planning Standards give direction that ‘Sites and Areas of Value and Significance to Māori’ be included in a separate chapter of the Plan. Objectives, policies, rules and schedules, including archaeological schedules will therefore be progressed separately. 

Notable tress, including those notable for links to historic persons or events, and those of significance or value to Mana Whenua will be located in a separate Notable Trees section.

The issues facing our Heritage 


Consultation with West Coaster’s and the TTPP Technical Team has identified the following three issues: 

Issue 1: Historic heritage supports a community’s sense of place 

West Coast townships have a unique sense of place developed through their past. This historic heritage may provide development opportunities, however, repair and maintenance costs can result in features falling into disrepair. 

Issue 2: Adaptive reuse diluting heritage values 

Adaptive reuse, or modifying a heritage building or site for a new function, enables their ongoing use. To do this generally requires repairs or maintenance work to be undertaken which can dilute the heritage values of the building or site. 

Issue 3: Planning provisions need to recognize that historic heritage occurs at different scales and in different contexts. 

Recognition of heritage features that are important to the history of a region, district, or local area is required to ensure a sense of place is protected. The tools to protect these features may be different to those needed to protect nationally recognized features. 

Identification and assessment of heritage features needs to be undertaken in such a way as to provide clarity as to whether it is an area, a feature, the title, a building, the interior of a building, or a combination of these that is being protected. This ensures applicants and decision-makers have guidance when considering proposals and protection measures. 

Archaeological site – Carters Beach

Stocktake of existing heritage 

While the historic heritage issue, objective and policy development work is taking place, a reconciliation and stocktake of the existing heritage schedules held by the three District Councils, and the Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Toanga List, is being undertaken. 

NOTE – Impact of COVID-19 on heritage workstream 

A stocktake of the existing heritage schedules had commenced before the COVID-19 lockdown occurred on 26 March 2020. The stocktake involved a reconciliation of the existing schedules held by the District Councils, and a physical check to determine if the item still exists. No assessments have been undertaken to date. This work will recommence inline with the COVID-19 Alert Levels.