'Do not leave heritage to politicians'

20:47, Feb 07 2013
Dunedin's First Church
HERITAGE: Dunedin's First Church is a well-loved part of the city's history.

Christchurch mayor Bob Parker has warned the Dunedin community it needs to act now to protect its heritage buildings if it wants to avoid losing them in a major earthquake.

Speaking last night at Otago Museum Parker said if Dunedin was to avoid the losses suffered in Christchurch after the quakes the community needed to recognise the importance of strengthening heritage buildings and empower their local body politicians to enforce more stringent rules.

''Dunedin has such a wonderful collection of heritage buildings. It is very important for the community to make some calls around what is a priority to strengthen,'' Parker said.

If the decision was left up to local body politicians alone they could waiver under pressure from building owners, so they needed the weight of the community behind them.

''You can't leave it just to the local body politicians ...the community has to be part of the solution,'' Parker warned.

Parker was invited to speak at Otago Museum because it is currently hosting the Canterbury Quakes exhibition.

He spoke about the trauma and suffering that occurred in Christchurch after the quakes and about the extraordinary way in which Christchurch residents had rallied around each other, and warned the audience of the need to be always prepared for a disaster.


The Press