Stop the demolition of the Te Urewera Visitor Centre at Aniwaniwa.

The Department of Conservation Deputy Director-General Mervyn English has advised in a court affidavit that the demolition of the Āniwaniwa Visitor Centre is imminent. 

The visitor centre is a significant part of New Zealand’s modern architectural legacy, listed by Heritage New Zealand as a Category One Historic Place, and is a place of outstanding cultural value to New Zealand. 

In 1969, Te Urewera National Park Board commissioned acclaimed Māori architect, the late, John Scott to design a headquarters at Āniwaniwa.  Three years before its 1976 opening, a Tūhoe Trust Board member expressed pleasure that its concept and design embodied so much of the Urewera spirit and history of Māori occupation.

The following points are relevant to this petition:-

  1. The building is of significant cultural and heritage value
  2. The building is not earthquake prone based on two engineering reports
  3. If the building is insanitary (leaks), this is due to the mismanagement of the facility by the Department of Conservation.
  4. The Department of Conservation has not followed the requirements of the Te Urewera National Park Management Plan in making its decision and has not considered all parties with an interest in the building.  The Department of Conservation has not advertised its intention to demolish this heritage building.
This petition will be delivered to:
  • Minister of Conservation
    Hon Maggie Barry
  • Department of Conservation Deputy Director-General
    Mervyn English
  • Department of Conservation Deputy General
    Lou Sanson


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