Proposal for Ihumātao stonefields to receive highest category of recognition

By Te Ao - Māori News

Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga is proposing that an enlarged area of land at Ihumātao receive its highest level of historic places recognition.

Ōtuataua Stonefields at Ihumātao is currently listed as a Category 2 historic place. However, Heritage New Zealand has announced today that it is inviting submissions on a proposal to change the listing to enlarge the area of recognition and recognise its significance as a Category 1 historic place, "a place of special or outstanding heritage significance".

"Based on further extensive research of the Ōtuataua Stonefields listing, Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga is proposing that the listing be changed to a Category 1 historic place, and its boundaries be extended,” says Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Chief Executive Andrew Coleman.

Heritage New Zealand CE, Andrew Coleman / File

Heritage New Zealand says the review of the current listing has been initiated in response to a number of requests from members of the public.

“It is important to note that the review allows assessment under a wider range of criteria than was used for the 1991 listing assessed under previous legislation. The revised assessment has included consideration of spiritual, cultural and traditional significance as well as historical, archaeological and other values.  This additional information adds to the depth of knowledge and the significance of the area,” Coleman says.

Ōtuataua Stonefields / File
Heritage New Zealand says it had no legal mandate to be involved in discussions around the plan change that enabled land to be earmarked as a Special Housing Area and did not have a statutory role at the resource consent stage of the process for the residential development proposal.

It says the review of the listing will not alter the status of the Special Housing Area or any existing resource consents. 

The public can make submissions on the review report at https://www.heritage.org.nz/the-list/notified-proposals-and-reviews.  All submissions received will be considered by the Heritage New Zealand Māori Heritage Council and Board before they make a final decision on the review.