A 104-year-old Te Kuiti building the Historic Places Trust thought had been demolished is in desperate need of maintenance.
The trust has asked the owner of the former Government Building in Queen St, the Waitomo District Council, to make the dilapidated building watertight after inspecting it this month.
Fiona Low, the trust's area manager, met council chief executive Chris Ryan, mayor Brian Hanna and historian Bruce Fuller at the building after Mr Fuller offered $10,000 towards its restoration so long as the council matched funding and the Te Kuiti and District Historical Society stopped using it as a store.
Mr Fuller would like to see the building become a community facility.
"We have suggested that at least it should be repaired to a point where it's watertight," Ms Low said.
"The building is one of the iconic buildings of Te Kuiti. Essential maintenance and repair would help to ensure that the building's heritage fabric is protected and the building has the ability to remain useful in some way into the future. Keeping buildings alive and useful is the best way of preserving them . . . the use of quality materials make them worth retaining and treasuring, contributing to sustainability.
"Our heritage buildings are a finite resource. Once they're gone or have been substantially changed, they're gone for good."
The building was registered by the Historic Places Trust as a category 2 historic place in 1985, but was told it was to be demolished in 1987 and the entry was removed.
Mr Fuller nominated the building to be re-registered last year, but Ms Low could not say when it would be considered by the trust's executive and board. It was not on the list of buildings to be looked at in 2012-13.
In any case, registration does not provide any legal protection. That could only be done by the council by scheduling it in the district plan.
Mr Hanna said the council had instructed a builder to have a look at the building and a report would go to the next council meeting.
- © Fairfax NZ News
Do you think four new schools in Hamilton's northeast is 'excessive'?Related story: Principals say four new Hamilton schools unnecessary