Remuera Heritage 2021 Annual Report

AGM 21 May 21

AGM 21 May 21

Guest Speaker Tony Batistich, AGM 21 May 2021

Nau mai haere mai, tena koutou katoa; welcome to members, Orakei Local Board members Sarah Powrie, Margaret Voyce and Colin Davis, and friends of the society. It’s only been 10 months since the last AGM but it does seem like a long time ago.

Events in 2020/21

We’ve enjoyed a visit to Christ Church, Ladies Mile, Ellerslie to see the restored 19th century interior and stained glass windows of Alfred Bell which are of international and national significance. Amy Gaimster from Heritage NZ spoke to us about heritage interiors and wallpapers, Ian Handricks about family histories and Debra Millar about the grand homesteads of New Zealand. At the Auckland Heritage Festival Sue Cooper presented about the Great Maori Feast at Remuera in 1844.

Future events

The Auckland Heritage Festival is on again in October 2021 and we have one event lined up: a talk on Ōhinerau Mt Hobson’s history and the growth of market gardens in Remuera.  We are still planning to have a concert at St Luke’s Church with the newly restored organ – Christmas would be a good time to do this!

We’d really like to hear your ideas for future talks and visits – please contact any of the committee with ideas.


In 2017 we met with Auckland Council’s Historic Heritage team to look at potential historic heritage sites in Remuera. Three properties have now been included in 2021 in the Council’s Plan Change 31 this year and added to the council’s Historic heritage schedule: the Remuera Primary School War Memorial Gates, the old Remuera Post Office, and the Upland Road Shops as a Historic Heritage area. Thank you to the Orakei Local Board for their support in providing funding for this.

The Unitary Plan remains a constant challenge to protect our special character and built heritage. Intensification of housing in the single house and mixed housing suburban zones is of ongoing concern in Remuera. We want to see more houses in the single house zone. But the Single House Zone and the Special Character Overlay are under threat as local planning is driven more by central government than local government. Yesterday 20 May 2021 Auckland Council withdrew its proposed plan change 26 (Special Character Area-Residential) which sought to clarify the relationship between Special Character Areas Overlay and the Underlying Zone provision of the Resource management act 1991.

Plus there are the proposed major changes in resource management in New Zealand: i.e. repeal of the Resource Management Act 1991, which will be replaced by three new Acts:

  • Natural and Built Environments Act (NBA) to provide for land use and environmental regulation (this would be the primary replacement for the RMA)
  • Strategic Planning Act (SPA) to integrate with other legislation relevant to development, and require long-term regional spatial strategies
  • Climate Change Adaptation Act (CCAA) to address complex issues associated with managed retreat and funding and financing adaptation.

Reform of the Local Government Act 2002 is also being proposed. The Character Coalition is meeting with Auckland Council to ask: what are the implications for Auckland Council and the management of residential character and amenity in Auckland city.

Heritage properties

‘Remuera’s Century-Old Homes’ is an exciting new campaign developed by Remuera Heritage to capture and share the stories of some of Remuera’s many historic homes.  We have identified residences and buildings that have a special place in our built heritage, where the house and/or its people have made a meaningful contribution to the story of Remuera, Auckland and in some cases New Zealand. So far, we have done Ash Hurst in Benson Rd, the Walsh brothers’ house at 62 Orakei Rd, Arlestone at 151 Orakei Rd, and 21 and 29 Ridings Rd which are houses from the 19th century. It costs $1500 to have the history fully researched and Jan Bierman has been successful in getting sponsorship from real estate agents Megan Jaffe Ray White ($5,000) and Barfoot & Thompson ($2,000) in Remuera. We are also working on identifying houses in Remuera designed by noted architects such as Roy Binney, Horace Massey, Roy Lippincott, Gummer & Ford and more. See

Publishing – print and digital

Remuera Heritage has published its first print publication on the Great Maori Feast at Remuera of 1844, which is for sale at $25. We’ve also worked with Tony Batistich who has created a digital StoryMap of the feast, where he explores in depth the mystery of the location of the feast – see

 Management Committee

David Pittman has resigned from the committee and I want to thank him for his commitment to the Remuera Railway Station Preservation Trust.  Ken Bierman, our treasurer, has also resigned – thank you Ken for your service.

Finally I would like to thank the wonderful committee for their commitment:  Stuart Hayman, Bryan Haggitt, Jenny Scott, Brian Cooper, Jan Bierman, Sue Johnston & Sue Jackson of Remuera Library, who provide us with this wonderful venue.

We always need some new members on our committee – the society is at a very exciting stage in its development and we want to maintain our focus on protecting our Remuera heritage and our informative and social programme of events. I hope you will consider getting involved.

Sue Cooper
17 May 2021