Heritage issues up for discussion in HB

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Both government and opposition representatives will be in Napier this Saturday to address the Historic Places Aotearoa annual general meeting on the subject of how the country's heritage is being protected.

The keynote speakers at the public meeting being staged at the MTG Century Theatre at 12.30pm will be Tuki Tuki MP and acting Civil Defence Minister Craig Foss and Labour's Arts, Culture and Heritage spokeswoman Jacinda Ardern.

Mr Foss will deliver his speech on behalf of Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Maggie Barry, who is unable to attend.

Historic Places Aotearoa president James Blackburne said he was pleased representatives from both sides of the House would be speaking at the meeting, adding that the government's policy on how the country's heritage was protected and managed was likely to be a hot topic at the AGM.

"The country's heritage is a significant part of New Zealand's legacy - government policy on how it is protected and managed is of huge interest."

Mr Blackburne said members of the public were welcome to attend Saturday's keynote addresses.

He believed Mr Foss' speech would address several matters of interest to Hawke's Bay people, including the National Historic Landmarks List and the recently announced Heritage Earthquake Upgrade Incentive Programme Fund.

"Ms Ardern took a strong interest in the recent Aniwaniwa debate, resulting in the demolition of the Department of Conservation building designed by Hawke's Bay architect John Scott, and was a strong advocate within Parliament for the building's retention - we look forward to hearing her party's perspective on managing and protecting our heritage."

The AGM is being hosted by the Hawke's Bay branch of Historic Places Aotearoa and chairwoman and former Napier mayor Barbara Arnott said the city was a fine example of heritage and preservation.

She said it was important resources and direction from the government kept up and Historic Places Aotearoa was keen to engage as may people as possible "so that the discussion has weight".

The weekend also includes two tours of the area for members and a workshop for heritage advocates to consider the best ways to nationally co-ordinate national heritage issues.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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