Historic lime kilns damaged in farm conversion

JACQUIE WEBBY
Last updated 12:30 10/03/2014
The Teaneraki lime kilns in North Otago before (top) and after work was started on a dairy farm conversion.
Fairfax NZ

BEFORE AND AFTER: The Teaneraki lime kilns in North Otago before (top) and after work was started on a dairy farm conversion.

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Two of North Otago's most iconic stone structures have been badly damaged during work which is being done at an Enfield dairy conversion site by Oamaru company Mitchell and Webster.

The site is located at Coalpit Rd, Enfield, north-west of Oamaru.

The two lime kilns, one of which dates from 1898 and the other from 1900, were erected by William Meek on his farm at Teaneraki.

Work on the site was halted on Wednesday by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust (NZHPT), which has confirmed the construction dates of the structures.

NZHPT regional archaeologist for Otago/Southland, Matthew Schmidt, said the trust had no record of receiving a resource consent application for the current works on the property.

"No enquiries were made to this office (Dunedin) regarding the works by Mitchell and Webster or their legal representative," he said.

Nick Webster (of Mitchell and Webster) said he believed, "to the best of our knowledge, that we weren't doing anything wrong".

"We have resource consent and I can confirm work has stopped on the site."

Waitaki District Council (WDC) chief executive Michael Ross said a resource consent for earthworks and access for a dairy conversion was granted on January 15.

"Given no listing or detail is held on the Teaneraki Lime Kilns, this was not addressed within the resource consent decision," Mr Ross said.

"As the lime kilns are not listed in the District Plan or the NZHPT national register, the council is limited in its immediate power to protect these structures. The management and protection of historic heritage is achieved jointly through two pieces of legislation - the Resource Management Act (RMA) and the Historic Places Act 1993 (HPA).

"The Heritage Appendix of the (WDC) District Plan and corresponding rules are designed to identify and protect all areas within the district with sites of heritage value.

"The identification of these sites is done in conjunction with the NZHPT and land owners within the district. Lime kilns such as the former works at Makareao are currently registered in our District Plan Heritage Appendix."

NZHPT senior legal adviser Geraldine Baumann was awaiting a report: "We will be asking why this has happened and what decisions we can make . . . We do have authority under the Act but a rebuild is unlikely."

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- The Timaru Herald

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