Tamaki Drive Protection Society



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Tamaki Drive History Resources


Heritage articles & "Castles in the Sand" book extract as follows:

Preservation or Protection
Coastal Protection comes at a cost
Case for NZ Coastal Commission,( by Raewyn Peart)
Bachs or castles by the sea (TDPS public lecture with Raewyn Peart)
At Home and Away: Our responsilbility for the coast in the future

Tamaki Drive heritage ( includes some history)
Recognition of our heritage ( Assessment and protection)
World heritage sites ( guardianship and stewardship)



Tamaki Drive Protection Society looks forward to a stimulating evening and welcomes environmental law expert, Environmental Defence Society  Executive Raewyn Peart as  Guest Speaker at the AGM  on Tuesday 10 November 2009 , 7.30 pm .  The venue is the Kohimarama  Yacht Club on Tamaki Drive .  Raewyn is a noted author and  is experienced in the coastal issues which concern residents and many beach lovers from all over the city, and which  led to the incorporation of the Society in 1991.

Children at the beach are fascinated by both the water and the sand. Building sandcastles and moats at the waters edge they quickly learn that the old saying” time and tide wait for no man” means that they cannot stop natural processes. At times, natural processes have severely affected Eastern Bays beaches and Tamaki Drive . At first these may not be apparent. For example, Karaka Bay is noted as a quiet sandy beach where in 1840 the New Zealand 's first Governor, William Hobson, met with local Maori chiefs to add their signatures to the Treaty of Waitangi. But long time residents recall seeing the landslips at Peacock St, Karaka Bay which in 1953 and 1965 swept houses down the cliffs.

People choose to live in Eastern Bays because of the beaches, and feel a special responsibility to wards the preservation of the coastal environment with the  pohutukawa clad cliffs and beaches. For some years the trees were protected by the District Plan. This may change with changes to RMA, but the future of the trees will be decided by people.

While preservation of the trees is a matter for us, the beaches depend on the effects of coastal processes: storms and tides, and the effort we make to deal with these effects.

Many residents remember Mission Bay Beach when it was covered with rocks, before the council carried out the $2m beach restoration. 

Kohimarama and St Heliers have also been expensively resanded, but in the last case the reason was not just to create a recreation asset, but to avoid the undermining of Tamaki Drive by repeated severe storms. The Council professional services manager reported in 2006 that the sea was lapping at the seawall on Tamaki Drive in places, a storm had already caused a section of the wall to collapse, and that the seawall was built on sloppy mud without proper foundations. The solution was a new St Heliers beach, which would be about 10m deep at high tide in the centre and 25m to 30m at each end, and which would protect the new seawall from erosion.

This was not the end of Eastern Bays problems. A $4m bill to halt clifftop cracks was reported by Bernard Orsman http://www.nzherald.co.nz/bernard-orsman/news/headlines.cfm?a_id=67 in the Herald June 10, 2008. Emergency measures costing $4 million were needed to stabilise clifftop cracks that have appeared in a section of one of Auckland 's most exclusive streets.

But erosion and damage is not only an Auckland problem. Storms and tides carry sand up and down the coastline for many kilometers. Many local councils which border the coast have similar or worse erosion problems, and must consider difficult and often costly solutions. Some scientists believe the tides cannot be held back, whereas other engineers consider forms of coastal defenses such as groynes and seawalls can preserve the foreshore and any structures nearby.

Environmental author and Kohimarama Yacht club member Raewyn Peart noted both sides of the dilemma. Acutely aware of predictions that sea level rises as a result of climate change will lead to increased coastal erosion and flooding, and that storm surges can increase sea levels by up to a metre on the open coast, she considers that action is needed now. Old methods of protecting the coast will not be enough.

Raewyn warns, “As the sea level rises, this pushes the inter-tidal zone further inland. If this movement is blocked by a fixed structure such as a seawall, the high tide can eventually lap the wall resulting in the loss of any dry beach. The inter-tidal zone is reduced in width, a process known as ‘coastal squeeze.’ Sea walls can also become undermined and many need replacement over time – usually with bigger more expensive and often unsightly structures.”


“One way of addressing this problem is to replenish sand on the beach to create a buffer in the event of storms and also to retain the beach for recreation and amenity. However as sea level rises and storm activity increases the cost of sand replenishment will increase and may prove prohibitive. Planning needs to start now to identify how the coastline in areas such as the Eastern Bays will be managed over the next 100 years.”

Managing the coastal zone requires a level of expertise which may not be available to the many local authorities throughout NZ which continually deal with issues of coastal erosion, agricultural runoff and the effects of subdivision. At times an even more serious concern is the quality of the sea water. If we cannot swim at the beaches because of pollution or harmful organisms will we still approve of the costs of protection? Should those costs include regulations to prevent pollutants and to ensure water which is both swimable and safe for fish and sea creatures?

Raewyn considers, “ To avoid ad hoc and short term decision making on these very important strategic issues (including 3-yearly electoral cycles), we need an independent body which will oversee the public interest in how we manage the coast in the long term - a New Zealand Coastal Commission. Such a Commission can bring together the best expertise and thinking on these issues nationwide and develop appropriate responses and oversee their implementation.”

This solution is explained in fascinating detail in Raewyn’s newly published book, “Castles in the Sand”. Raewyn will explain coastal issues and possible solutions with an impressive Powerpoint show as TDPS Guest Speaker on November 10.

Residents, new members and all concerned for the coast are warmly welcomed to this important meeting. This presentation will be at 8pm , following the AGM .

Information and copies of Castles in the Sand will be available.

Author Juliet Yates . This story has been approved and authorized for publication by Raewyn Peart .


Coastal protection comes at a cost

Like every city sited at sea level across the world, natural process will dictate our future. So far we have been lucky. Millions of dollars have restored our precious beach playgrounds and now, and we hope, for  the future. But the durability of that future is not certain. Experts warn of world wide changes that one day will impact on our beaches. Already we know, and many residents will recall only too well the power of natural forces, and some of the costs.

Historical costs

Many are not known, but include: Destruction of Peacock St houses 1953, 1965. Removal of slips along Tamaki Drive during the last  50 years :Kohimarama   to Ngapipi Road. Houses destroyed by slips on Shore Rd and  the Parnell Cliffs.

Recent Costs : Resanding of  10 beaches in Auckland City  

1996 Mission Bay :    $2.2 million

2004  Kohimarama  : $6     million.

2008  St Heliers        :$4.3 million (includes building new seawalls)

In addition,
Pt Chevalier beach was resanded  in 2008, followed by Pt England, Blockhouse Bay, Taylor's Reserve and three Herne Bay beaches.

October 2008: The Parnell Baths : $242,000 spent on stabilising the slip area and on a geotechnical report by engineering firm Tonkin and Taylor. The remainder of the cleanup cost about $25,000.

26 November 2008:  The New Zealand Land Transport Agency approved a funding assistance rate of 43% of the costs of  Cliff Road, St Heliers palisade wall protection works. The estimated cost was $1.9 million and (NZ Transport Agency’s share $817,000).  The construction cost for Stage 2 of the  project was estimated at $3.175 million with the remaining $1.275 million being fully funded by Auckland City Council. In its reason for the decision , the LTA stated  “the  assessment profile for this activity has been determined as being of high seriousness and urgency, medium effectiveness and high efficiency.”

Current problems have been solved, but can we afford to be complacent, when scientists predict a rise in sea levels. Will coastal protection always be of concern, and what is the best way to achieve this?


Juliet Yates, Secretary, Tamaki Drive Protection Society , 9/5/09


Case for a NZ Coastal Commission by Raewyn Peart.


Increasing coastal hazards is only one of the issues which will increase in importance when managing our coastline in the future. Increasing population pressure and more people wanting to live and recreate by the coast will place increasing development pressure on our coastline, particular in areas in and within commuting distance of Auckland.


Currently there is no body which is ensuring that the public interest in how the coast is managed and developed is looked after – and that the big issues such as coastal hazards are being addressed in a strategic manner, taking into account the long term scenario.


The Environmental Defence Society is calling for the establishment of a New Zealand Coastal Commission to play this role. The Commission could have a number of roles. It could be tasked with identifying those areas of the coast which should be ‘no go’ for urban development in the long-term: a network of ‘Heritage Coasts’ which would be placed under stronger management control to create a legacy for future generations. This would help ensure that people living in growing urban areas such as Auckland, are able to access and enjoy undeveloped parts of the coastline.


The Commission could be tasked with developing and overseeing the implementation of the New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement –to provide clear direction as to how the coast is to be managed and include measurable objectives to be achieved within short and longer-term timeframes. This would include addressing key issues such as coastal hazards and coastal amenity.


The Commission could prepare a ‘Coastal Design Guide’ which would provide guidance to councils and explain what both ‘best practice’ and bad coastal development look like. The Commission could also prepare a regular ‘State of  Our Coasts’ report which would critically evaluate the effectiveness of coastal management and the outcomes being achieved.


Also, the Commission could act as an advocate for good coastal outcomes, advising the government on any needed changes to the coastal legislative and policy frameworks and become a party to resource consent applications in its own right.



Raewyn Peart , Authorized for publication, September 8, 2009




Looking at the growing demand for second homes among the increasingly affluent growing population there are two trends: the rural lifestyle blocks, which may carve up prime agricultural or horticultural land, and the popular bach by the sea, which in many new coastal subdivisions will be a substantial and luxurious home.


These issues were well illustrated in a compelling presentation by Raewyn Peart, at the Tamaki Drive Protection Society AGM and Public Meeting held on 10 November at Kohi Yacht Club.


Environmental law expert, EDS Senior Policy Analyst and Director, noted author and Kohimarama Yacht club member Raewyn Peart carried out extensive research for her recent book, “Castles in the Sand.”


She explained how we arrived at where we are: the formation of the coast by natural processes which created dunes, sandspits, beaches, extensive wetlands, and cliffs.

“Māori modified the coast, but the impact of European settlement was much greater with extensive forest clearances, drainage of wetlands, reclamations and dune modification.” Yet even though it is highly modified, New Zealanders strongly value the rural coastline. There is a long history of people camping and building holiday homes on the coast.”


“Post WW11 there has been a real flowering of beach culture” when people were able to take annual holidays, to buy a small car, access remote places and build small bachs tucked away behind the beach.


But big changes occurred in the 1990’s. Houses were much larger, located in more prominent positions and ridgelines.


 Looking at statistics, Raewyn showed that Coromandel has the most bachs, followed by Rodney, where there has also been a large increase in lifestyle blocks. Small holiday settlements have grown in size and new types have been built such as the  Omaha resort-style subdivisions,  canal developments, high rise at Mt Maunganui and Orewa, and also an increase in rural residential living. The result Raewyn says “is a loss of coastal wilderness, especially within 2 hours of Auckland. Many more new developments will occur because of rising affluence, increasing emphasis on lifestyle and increasing size of the age groups which can afford  second homes.”


Impacts. Raewyn listed impacts of coastal development:

  • Poor location and design of coastal development with  houses commonly built on ridgelines, headlands and sandspits

  • Houses built too close to the beach and dominating the coastal edge

  • Proposals for gridlike subdivisions, which transplant dense urban suburbs to the coast

  • Coastal sprawl, where development jumps urban limits and spreads along large stretches of the coast

  • Rural-residential development where a few houses impact on a long part of the coastline

The result is a loss of coastal natural character and in some areas, an increase in the number of coastal hazards. This can lead to the a demand for seawalls which can be unsightly and result in the loss of public access and dry beach at high tide.


The Reasons.

·         Weak District Plan provisions. In some cases no identification of outstanding coastal landscapes, and typically weak rules to protect landscapes when they are identified.

·         Non-complying activities frequently gain consent on the basis that their “effects are no more than minor” so people cannot rely on what is in the District Plan.

·         Private plan changes, where developers can seek radical changes to a current District Plan to facilitate their proposals.

·         A weak New Zealand Coastal Policy statement which has been pretty much ignored at a district level.

Raewyn considers that these factors mean there is no certainty for the coast, and no certainty of protection for undeveloped areas. “All of the coast outside of reserve land is potentially open to development. Even if the first development proposal is defeated, others will inevitably follow.”


 What should we do?

·         Keep houses away from headlands, ridgelines and the coastal edge.

·         Use sympathetic building design

·         Maintain clear boundaries between urban and rural

·         Keep rural residential development rural

·         Ensure adequate public access. The lot sizes in rural residential subdivisions are often too large to trigger the legal requirement to create esplanade reserves, and with private roads and gates the public are excluded from accessing the coastline.

·          Link coastal development with restoration, replanting, pest control.

·         Design coastal settlements where development is appropriate,  fits in and restores the coastal environment and provides for public access and enjoyment of the coast.

·         Where development is not appropriate, provide adequate protection.


Raewyn concluded that action should be taken now to provide for better coastal protection. She proposed:

1    A stronger coastal management framework 

2    A NZ Coastal Commission, linked to the Environmental Protection Agency

      or  a Foreshore and Seabed National body.

 3   A New Zealand Coastal Trust to support covenants and voluntary protection

      of privately owned coastal land.



The presentation was followed by lively questioning about the powers of a Coastal Commission. Would this take away private property rights and remove decision making from the local level?.

A popular alternative was suggested by Cr Doug Armstrong, who said that government should buy the coastal land, if the public wanted it.

Raewyn pointed out that no one has an unfettered right to develop rural land for urban purposes.

 Surveys show that the undeveloped coast is more highly valued, and she warned  “We cannot buy it all.” Coastal Commissions were successful in a number of overseas countries.


Raewyn was warmly thanked for her stimulating presentation which was most informative, and a great introduction to the excellent book and deserved a wider audience.

For Further information:

Environmental Defence Society: eds.org.nz


At Home and Away: our responsibility for the coast in the future


Sited on two harbours Auckland was founded as a commercial hub and the wealth generated by the ports combined with the acumen and foresight of city leaders has enabled us to enjoy our coastal heritage. Today our resanded inner city bathing beaches are a playground for thousands and we cherish the network of Regional parks and beaches which were bought for us and future generations.


With increasing demands for second homes and sea views we can ask if the new Auckland Council will add other coastal areas of outstanding natural beauty to the current portfolio, or whether we must rely on current law and safeguards.


Will the RMA save the coastal wilderness?


Questioners at the recent TDPS meeting pointed out that the New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement should have achieved much, but it has not. We were told that  District Plans may be weak, and  Regional Plans could be more effective.

These plans are made under the Resource Management Act 1991 which states that it  is a matter of national importance to recognise and provide for “ the preservation of the natural character of the coastal environment (including the coastal marine area), wetlands, and lakes and rivers and their margins, and the protection of them from inappropriate subdivision, use, and development.” ( s 6(a)).

In addition, public access must be maintained and enhanced. (s6(d)).


At the national level, the RMA gave priority to the coast by requiring that at all times there be a  New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement, prepared by the Minister of Conservation.


This Statement was gazetted in May 1994 listing national priorities for the preservation of the natural character of the coastal environment of 

New Zealand

. It’s aim was to guide local authorities in the day-to-day management of the coastal environment.

Local authorities must give effect to the NZCPS through their plans and policy statements. Resource consent decision-makers must also have regard to relevant NZCPS policies. 

The Statement was reviewed in 2004. Key findings showed that it was only partially effective in influencing district plans, and only generally referred to in resource consent applications. The review recommended that the Statement provide “improved policy guidance on topics including a definition of the coastal environment, identification of coastal landscapes and seascapes, and criteria for assessing appropriate use and development of our coast.”

The Proposed NZCPS 2008, can be viewed on the website of the Department of Conservation, but there is no information on its progress.


Matters in the Proposed NZCPS included:

  • Appropriate (and inappropriate) subdivision and development in the coastal environment,

  • Protection of surf breaks of national importance.

  • Policies on natural character, landscape and biodiversity protection.

  • Public access,

  • Water quality,

  • Revised coastal hazard management policies.

  • Protection of historic heritage.

In conclusion the RMA  provides a system for coastal management and could save the “ coastal wilderness”. The fact that recent research discovered disappointing results means that in the end it will be a matter of political will and of public demand. The NZCPS could give direction to national priorities.

Regional and District plans could give more weight to nationally important matters and where necessary prohibit inappropriate activities.

Alternative methods should be explored and conservation efforts of coastal property owners encouraged and supported.

Outstanding coastal landscape areas could be bought as public reserves.




New Zealand World Heritage sites


International recognition and additional protection can be sought as World Heritage sites. Our current sites are:

  • New Zealand Sub-Antarctic Islands

  • Te Wahipounamu - South West New Zealand

  • Tongariro National Park

T e Wahipounamu World Heritage Area is comprised of four of New Zealand’s most important National Parks:  Westland National Park, Mt Aspiring National Park, Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park and Fiordland National Park. More info fourcorners.co.nz

New Zealand’s current world heritage tentative list comprises eight sites which, at this stage, are proposed to be developed for nomination in the following order:  


Stone store, Kerikeri

  • Kahurangi National Park , Farewell Spit, Waikoropupu Springs and the Canaan Karst System

  • Waters and Seabed of the Fiords of Fiordland (Te Moana o Atawhenua) – an addition to Te Wāhipounamu – South-West New Zealand World Heritage Area

  • Napier Art Deco Historic Precinct

  • Kerikeri Basin Historic Precinct

  • Waitangi Treaty Grounds Historic Precinct

  • Kermadec Islands and Marine Reserve

  • Auckland Volcanic Field

  • Whakarua Moutere, or the North-East Islands (including Poor Knights Islands )

Source. Dept of Conservation:



Celebrating Tamaki Drive Heritage

18 February 2010

The highly successful Waitangi Day event at Okahu Bay reminds us of the importance of cultural and historic heritage, and that in 1840 the treaty was signed at Karaka Bay.

The historic importance of places and events  located near Tamaki Drive makes this  area a regional asset of major significance which was recognised in the Eastern Bays Coastal Management Strategy 1999. This comprehensive study  aimed to give a clear direction for the future management of the physical and natural resources and cultural and historic values of the Eastern Bays coastal area. The document contains recommendations and suggestions which are still worthy to be taken into account in the  Council’s  future planning.

Last year communities and stakeholders were consulted by the Council over a seven-week period from mid March to mid May 2009 over  the Its my Backyard project. The current Eastern Bays area plan is on the website and  describes  the outcomes that the Council wants to see happen in Eastern Bays between now and 2030. Some main outcomes are displayed on the map and are listed below:


  • allowing modest growth around existing town centres, while retaining the sense of place or characteristics of the area's established residential suburbs

  • mixed use development on Kepa Rd to join community facilities at Kupe Street with the Eastridge retail area, to ensure that residents have the amenities they need

  • enabling development at Orākei Marae and Domain, for business, tourism, recreation and residential activities

  • managing Tamaki Drive as a regional recreation destination, to balance competing demands and protect the coastal environment

  • advocating for a new railway station and transport interchange at St Johns, surrounded by mixed use developmentfrom feedback

The Council website states there was a great deal interest and feedback on heritage. The historic landscape policy approach to heritage protection was strongly supported. Support was shown for the protection of both Auckland's natural and cultural heritage.  www.itsmybackyard.co.nz/areaplans/easternmap.asp


Early Days in the Bays.

The Eastern Bays area has a fascinating history, commencing in 1000-1350 AD with the Maori settlement and establishment by Ngati Whatua of a major pa at Orakei.

In 1841 land from Mission Bay to Panmure was purchased by the Crown form Ngati Poa and European settlement began.

The Melanesian Mission established a Mission house  and a School which was used from 1858-1867 for boys from the Pacific Islands, and changed to a Naval Training School in 1874 and to an Industrial School in 1882.

The first assembly of chiefs with the Governor since the signing of the Treaty was held in 1860, and is called the Kohimarama Conference.

1870 saw the first settler J Biddock.at Orakei,

1881 Native Parliament was held at Okahu Bay.

Meanwhile the first wharves were built to serve ferries, and give easier access to the bays. First was St Heliers, followed by Orakei in 1905, and later Kohimarama at Pipimea Head. The completion of the sewer line in 1910 gave alternate access for the hardy who walked across the sewer from Remuera to the beaches.

The coastline was altered again  by the removal of Bastion Rock which was cut away to make a causeway to the land, and is now the site of the Tamaki Yacht Club, built in 1937.

In 1915 the Walsh Brothers and Dexter’s Flying School established in Mission Bay, running training courses for World War 1 pilots, and building flying boats. The Walsh Brothers memorial is located  at Selwyn Reserve.

Major transport issues were addressed with the completion of the railway across Hobson Bay in 1925 and commencement of Tamaki Drive construction in 1926.

Tamaki Drive Challenges in 2010

 Tamaki Drive Protection Society was incorporated in 1991, with the primary purpose the preservation of Tamaki Drive as a public amenity.

The Society was successful in promoting research and the formulation of the Tamaki Drive Guidelines  which were adopted by the Council in 1992. Tamaki Drive is listed as a scenic way, and there is reference to the Guidelines in  the District Plan.

The Introduction to the Guidelines recognises that a clear set of values and goals for the locality were needed since the qualities which made Tamaki Drive attractive to the recreational users also resulted in “ pressures for intensified uses and new demands on the area from buildings, parking, refuse, wear and  tear, or visual effects which  erode the open space recreational amenities which attract people for visits in the first place.” These concerns led to further investigation and the Coastal Management Strategy.

Today the challenges still are how to reconcile conflicting demands and uses. The re-sanding of the beaches has given the people of Auckland a magnificent waterfront playground which attracts families from all over the city, for sunbathing, swimming and sailing small boats, while the Royal Akarana, Tamaki, Kohimarama and Glendowie Yacht Clubs cater for yacht races  for  all ages from  learners  up to Olympic standard. Summer weekends mean the road must accommodate boats and trailers.

But Tamaki Drive has also other uses. Round the Bays began in 1973, with 1200 runners and today attracts close to 100,000. This success is mirrored by other athletic events, triathlons and by cyclist training and events.

 Traffic has become a critical issue, but more so is the need to devise ways of sharing Tamaki Drive so that everyone gets a fair opportunity to enjoy the ambiance and the amenities while enabling the residents to drive safely to and from the city. Better safety for cyclists and pedestrians was discussed recently, and a large number of recommendations were made by the Eastern Bays Community Board, which went as far as suggesting registration of cycles.

The Coastal Management Strategy recognised the multiple uses and demands on Tamaki Drive and predicted that in the future there would be increasing conflicts.  Written at the time when a highway crossing Hobson Bay and Purewa Creek was under contemplation as an alternative route to the city, it stated that Tamaki Drive had an important commuter traffic role, but that it should be seen primarily as a recreational traffic corridor.

Suggestions to improve matters included widening of the footpath in narrow and heavily used places by seaward extension of the seawall or carriageway width reduction, and dedicated road level cycleways at Mission Bay, Kohimarama and St Heliers Bay.

 At present the new boardwalks and footpaths are shared with people walking with families, and roller bladders, and the cycle lane is not well recognised. While of value recreationally this lane is not suitable for cyclist commuters nor cyclist training, so further research is needed into long term solutions such as widening of Tamaki Drive at the Ngapipi Road intersection.

Meanwhile the work begun by Tamaki Drive Protection Society foundation members continues. Suggestions are made for environmental improvements, and proposals which could affect the coastal area are carefully considered. If appropriate, submissions are made to the Council or other authority.

Juliet Yates, Tamaki Drive Protection Society


Recognising Heritage: Assessment and Protection

With an increasing number of heritage trails around Auckland and public interest in saving historic buildings as part of heritage, it is timely to know how the values of historic places and events are assessed.

Since 1993 heritage conservation has been influenced by the ICOMOS New Zealand Charter for The Conservation Of Places Of Cultural Heritage Value, commonly called the New Zealand  Charter. This brings international ideas which strengthen our assessment and preservation of heritage. 

ICOMOS, the International Council on Monuments and Sites, is an international non-governmental organisation of heritage professionals engaged in the conservation of places of cultural heritage value and dedicated to the conservation of the world's historic monuments and sites. The organisation was founded in 1965. It has its Secretariat in Paris and has National Committees in over 107 countries. ICOMOS is UNESCO's principal advisor in matters concerning the conservation and protection of historic monuments and sites.  It also advises the World Heritage Committee on the administration of the World Heritage Convention to which New Zealand is a signatory

 The New Zealand National Committee (ICOMOS New Zealand /Te Mana O Nga Pouwhenua O Te Ao) was incorporated in 1987.

ICOMOS New Zealand
Description: logo


The aims of ICOMOS New Zealand are:

  • to develop expertise amongst those engaged in cultural heritage conservation

  • to promote high professional standards of conservation

  • to promote and from time to time review the ICOMOS New Zealand Charter

  • to promote the identification and protection of World Heritage Sites in New Zealand

  • to circulate and promote heritage conservation information, including a newsletter to members

  • to organise seminars and conferences

  • to admit as members of ICOMOS New Zealand individuals and institutions working professionally in New Zealand within the field of conservation

  • to create opportunities for the professional development of its members

  •  to organise and promote the annual celebration of International Day for Monuments and Sites/the world heritage day on April 18.

·      Copyright © 2007 ICOMOS New Zealand


s 1.2 of the Charter states:

“The Treaty of Waitangi is the founding document of our nation and is the basis for indigenous guardianship. It recognition the indigenous peoples as exercising responsibility  for their treasures, monuments and sacred places. This interest extends beyond current legal ownership wherever such heritage exists. Particular knowledge of heritage values is entrusted to chosen guardians. The conservation of places of indigenous peoples cultural heritage value therefore is conditional on decisions made in the indigenous community, and should proceed only in this context. Indigenous conservation precepts are fluid and take account of the continuity of life and the needs of the present as well as the responsibilities of guardianship and association with those who have gone before. In particular, protocols of access, authority and ritual are handled at a local level. General principles of ethics and social respect affirm that such protocols should be observed. ”

http://www.icomos.org/docs/nz_92charter.html at 24 June 2005


Guardianship of cultural heritage

Guardianship principles are central to the Whenua Rangitira  Reserve Management Plan, Orakei,  adopted in 2002. The Orakei Act 1991 set the land aside as a Maori Reservation for the common use and benefit of the Orakei hapu (sub tribe ) and the citizens of the city of Auckland, under the joint administration of the hapu and the Auckland City Council.

The Management Plan recognises that “all management decisions must accord with Wairuatanga, that is must accord with the spiritual identity and beliefs of Ngati Whatua.

Any application for a resource consent within these areas [ Whenua Rangatira] will be assessed against the objectives and policies for the area and must  recognise the six cultural principles “ which cover the range of cultural, spiritual , social and environment criteria.”

(i) Rangatiratanga;      the authority of Ngati Whatua

(ii)Wairuatanga          their spiritual identity and beliefs

(iii)Mankitanga         (Hospitality) host relationships with the wider community

(iv) Kiatiakitanga       stewardship

(v) Kotahitanga          decisions must aim to foster unity among the hapu

(vi)Whanaungatanga  kinship ties


The ethic of Kaitiakitanga or responsibilities to safeguard the interests of the people , the land the resources, their tikanga and toanga ( treasures) for future generations , should be adhered to in order to keep options open for future generations , while enabling the land to reflect the current cultural and spiritual aspirations of Ngati Whatua o Orakei.

This Management Plan and therefore the principle of guardianship, is recognised in the Isthmus Section of the Auckland City Council District Plan.


Heritage in the District Plan

Part 5C  of the Plan concerns heritage. The Council is required to have particular regard to the recognition, and protection of the heritage value of  sites, buildings, places or areas. The Plan records” Heritage resources are an essential part of the City’s cultural values. They serve to link successive generation. Their retention adds to the body of cultural experience and is part of an essential cultural framework which helps inspire and bind the community.” 

First the heritage items must be identified and then listed in the Schedule. Particular protection measures and procedures such as general zoning and development controls are applied to achieve the Plan’s objectives “ to conserve the district’s natural, cultural and scientific heritage resources.”

The Plan includes the ICOMOS  New Zealand Charter as an Appendix and states that this provides a frame of reference and guidelines for all people who are involved in the conservation of places of cultural heritage value in NZ including scheduled items.


Tamaki Drive Listed heritage

The Schedule entitled” OBJECTS, HERITAGE PROPERTIES AND PLACES OF SPECIAL VALUE” includes many places along Tamaki Drive.

Tamaki Drive (Vellenoweth Green), St Heliers

Drinking Fountain




Tamaki Drive - Bastion Point, Mission Bay

Savage Memorial and Gardens




Tamaki Drive, Kohimarama

Kohimarama Beach Changing Rooms




Tamaki Drive, Mission Bay

Trevor Moss Davis Memorial Fountain




Tamaki Drive, Mission Bay (in cliff face and top, opposite Tamaki Yacht Club)

Gun Emplacements (5 in total)




Tamaki Drive, Mission Bay (clifftop behind Orakei Jetty)

Gun Emplacements (4) and observation post




Tamaki Drive, Okahu Bay

Okahu Bay Changing Rooms




Tamaki Drive, St Heliers

St Heliers Changing Rooms




Tamaki Drive 14, Orakei

Pumping Station (Navy League Headquarters - Hammerheads Restaurant 1995)




Tamaki Drive 40, Mission Bay

Melanesian Mission House


St Heliers Bay Road 32-42, St Heliers

St Heliers Library







In addition to these special places, the Plan recognises Tamaki Drive as a Scenic Way, in order to protect its special visual and scenic qualities. Objective 5C.7.7.1 (iv) states that new buildings should be “designed in harmony with those existing buildings and structures which reflect the historical and maritime character of the area; and that their scale, form, colour and siting does not detract from the natural scenic qualities of the area.”

This gives new development proposals a strong message which in appropriate cases is reinforced by the concerns of residents, and submissions from Residents Associations and Tamaki Drive Protection Society.

The Plan’s Resource Management Strategy states “ The conservation of heritage resources must acknowledge present day needs and circumstances. It must be managed and guided in an appropriate manner to ensure that heritage qualities are not devalued or compromised by development or change. Where feasible, such qualities should be enhanced and restored in the process of development or change.”   





Juliet Yates, Tamaki Drive Protection Society. 19 March 2010


World Heritage Sites: guardianship and protection

The   principle of stewardship or guardianship is also evolving in overseas countries to protect heritage. Implementation of the principle of stewardship has implications for any owner of heritage land or buildings.

Land valued for rating purposes uses the formula of the ‘highest and best use’ of land.

The “best use” under the stewardship principle will not look at development potential and may seek an enhanced  status quo, with a conservation and management plan which expresses cultural and spiritual values, as well as physical management.

When World Heritage sites are involved, development or exploration of physical resources may be precluded. For example, the Tongariro World Heritage site manager reported that, “World Heritage status has helped emphasize that further developments such as extending ski field boundaries or accommodation would not be appropriate.” http://whc.unesco.org/pg.cfm?cid=283     15 May  2005.


The private property owner may find that World Heritage status applied to his or her property introduces protection principles which over-ride development rights. Just as the owner of land through which a stream flows must preserve water quality, so under new regulatory regimes world heritage must be preserved.


In 1972 when the World Heritage Convention came into force, the main issue was compilation of the heritage inventory and assessment of outstanding universal value.

The World Heritage Committee lists many successes in its newsletters, but the most striking success is the large number of states which are parties to the Convention, and their acceptance that World Heritage listing is a prized achievement and is a contribution to sustainable development.


The protection of world heritage had roots in the classical tradition of Western Europe , legends of the Seven Wonders of the World , the myths of Greece and Rome and historic events centred on architectural monuments.

The expansion of world heritage from Europe to Asia and the Pacific has altered the original Eurocentric concepts and emphasis on the built environment.

Heritage, to many indigenous peoples is not lost or ancient civilisations, nor tradeable masterpieces of art but the essence of who they are in relation to their people and the land.  Protection will depend on local cultural values, on local laws and international recognition.

The outstanding universal value can consider the contribution of cultural heritage to the global diversity of cultures.

In future natural heritage will receive more attention, as environmental impact assessments reveal fragile ecosystems and problems of sustainability.  “Pyramids and palaces, temples and churches, obelisks and victory arches have too often been erected purely to feed the ego of the builder,”  wrote  Jim Eagles, in  “Self- tributes set in stone” New Zealand Herald, D2 21 June 2005.


Monuments erected as symbols of personal political power can be rebuilt, or replaced by new icons. But insults suffered by the environment cannot easily be repaired.

The grandeur of lost glaciers cannot be reconstructed, nor can a ravaged rainforest be repaired within our lifetime, or that of the next generation.

Even more acute is the loss by indigenous people when natural sites with intrinsic spiritual and intangible cultural values are destroyed, severing the roots connecting the people and the land.


Juliet Yates , Tamaki Drive Protection Society. 19 March 2010



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