Mayor “retires” the Auckland Council Heritage Advisory Panel

The Character Coalition has advised that at a Council meeting in December 2022, the Mayor reinstated the six demographic panels, two sector advisory panels and a local business forum but not the Heritage Advisory Panel. This is very disappointing considering what an important year this will be for the heritage sector with threats to special character and heritage areas in Plan Change 78 on housing intensification.

The purpose of the panel was to provide advice to the governing body and council staff within the remit of historic heritage issues on the following areas:

  • council policies, plans, processes, and strategies
  • regional and strategic matters
  • any matter of particular interest or concern to heritage communities.

Which it has successfully done since 2011. While the Council does have an excellent Heritage Team, the group of experts on the panel was able to provide advice to the Council on a range of diverse heritage issues and at times was the only council group giving an opportunity for particular groups to have a voice.  This was the case when Save Our Unique Landscape (SOUL), who fought and succeeded to protect the Otuataua Stonefields from development, thanked the panel for being the only Council group to accept a presentation from them.

The Mayor has said there may be an option to re-form the panel in 12 months. If people feel that heritage is being short-changed by this decision, they should contact the Mayor