### ODT Online Sun, 21 Apr 2013
Council says heritage buildings under threat
By Chris Morris
Important heritage buildings in Dunedin could be lost if proposed changes to the Resource Management Act (RMA) are confirmed, the Dunedin City Council says. The council’s concerns about historic architectural losses were articulated in a submission to the Ministry for the Environment, in response to a raft of proposed RMA changes recently unveiled by Environment Minister Amy Adams.
Proposed changes included the Resource Reform Management Bill, introduced last December, which was before a select committee and had closed a call for public submissions. Among the proposals was the removal of a reference to the ”protection of” historic heritage, which would be replaced with wording requiring recognition of, and provision for, ”the importance and value” of historic heritage.
”Important heritage buildings valued by the community could be lost when insignificant weight is given both to the importance of heritage to Dunedin’s residents, and to the growing significance of the city’s buildings on a national and international level, following the losses in Christchurch.”
Councillors have already been warned uncertainty over key new phrases proposed for the RMA might need to be tested in the courts, and the council’s submission warned the change ”diminishes the importance of historic heritage”.
### stuff.co.nz Last updated 05:00 21/04/2013
City wears its history with pride
By Rosemary McLeod
How can Dunedin fashion have a reputation for Gothic gloom, when early autumn showcases clear skies and a harbour like pale-blue glass and unexpected sunshine roasts me in my pessimistic woollies? The city has turned on idyllic weather for iD Dunedin Fashion Week, from March 10 to 17.
With barely a whisper of wind, reddening leaves dangle in the city’s parks and gardens as if by spider threads, viburnums are a mass of clear red berries, and the hillside of 19th-century stone and brick houses overlooking town declares a rooted solidity among greenery, even if we have all become nervous of such buildings because of what happened in that other city.
Since havoc was wreaked on Christchurch, Dunedin could seem more remote than ever, an add-on at the bottom of that big island, but it has always had its own distinct character and its old buildings are integral to that.
Before Auckland, this was where money was, and lots of it. It was the financial and population hub of the country and it was built to last long before nonsense like leaky homes. Dunedin is what Auckland isn’t.
If I had my way, it would have a vast dome over it, keeping it like this for posterity, because we have nothing else like it and will never create it again.
I could go on about the past, because it’s all around you in Dunedin, a city with a main street still at its heart, where you can still do your shopping instead of driving to suburban malls, where the local privately owned newspaper seems untouched by media challenges elsewhere and where I’ve trawled the second-hand shops over the years and made great discoveries.
Where populations stay put, so does their stuff. You dig here for a different kind of gold than the prospectors, who brought wealth here 150-odd years ago, but in its own way it’s just as exciting.
There are two museums and one public art gallery, all thriving, for a population of about 120,000. Independent retailers still exist on the main street. There are no vulgar high-rise buildings, although a developer desperately wants to build a 40-storeyed hotel. Yet in the midst of its rather smug history, Dunedin is held together not by the past but the future. Education is its core business.
Like a wise old parent, it puts up with the antics of the students so vital to its economy, stopping short of hysterics when they really put tolerance to the test, which is why, as its Fashion Week shows, Dunedin isn’t fusty.
● Rosemary McLeod was hosted by Tourism Dunedin.
Posted by Elizabeth Kerr
Images: Dunedin Railway Station via nakedbus.com (top), craiglawson.net (middle), seenindunedin.co.nz (bottom); Rosemary McLeod via bayofplentytimes.co.nz