The Future of Heritage

The Council is developing a Heritage Strategy in partnership with Ngāi Tahu. The draft strategy will go out for consultation later this year (2018) after a series of workshops and other engagement with key stakeholders.

Project status: Decision made
Open for feedback: 11 April 2017 to 22 May 2017

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Scheduled historic buildings - owner survey results

With more than 500 scheduled historic places not in Council ownership, heritage owners play a vital role in the protection of Christchurch and Banks Peninsula heritage.

Sixty five people responded to the Christchurch City Council Heritage Team's survey of heritage building owners. Forty six were from individual property owners, 17 were from trust members and two from developers.

Responses to comments in the survey. [PDF, 30 KB]

Of the 71 scheduled buildings owned by the respondents:

  • 28 were owner occupied homes
  • 12 were rented or leased houses
  • 10 were rented or leased commercial properties
  • 9 were used by the owner as business premises
  • 1 was a museum.

The other 13 included four buildings used as schools or for education purposes, a hotel, visitor attraction and three heritage buildings awaiting repairs.

Most respondents indicated that they bought their heritage building because of its historical values and/or because of personal connections. Scheduled buildings were mainly valued for historical values, location, architectural values and visual appeal.

 The biggest issues for heritage building owners were the additional costs of owning a scheduled building, insufficient grant funding, the need for earthquake strengthening and insurance costs.

 Most indicated that having their building scheduled in the District Plan recognised its historical value and was a source of pride. Listing also provided eligibility for funding. However, it also incurred additional costs for planning requirements and additional processes.

The most important tools to assist owners of a heritage building were encouragement of ongoing use, access to free advice and support and access to grants.

 Forty three respondents were aware of the Council’s Heritage Incentive Grants Fund but a similar number was not aware of the Council’s Heritage Landmarks Fund.

Twenty nine thought regional forums organised by the Council for owners of scheduled heritage buildings were a good idea. Forty respondents would like to see their building’s heritage status recognised with a plaque. Several already had buildings displaying plaques.

Future of heritage update - July 2018

As you know, Christchurch City Council is working to develop a Draft Heritage Strategy in partnership with Ngāi Tahu. The strategy is being developed based on all the information which you and other stakeholders shared with us in May and June last year, and at our two recent workshops on Tangible and Intangible Heritage and All Our Stories.

Our most recent workshop All Our Stories – How do stories and memories connect people and places, past and present? was held on Saturday 16 June at Ferrymead Heritage Park. 

 More than 40 heritage advocates joined us to discuss the role of stories and memories in celebrating our heritage. Guest speakers were Te Maire Tau (Upoko Te Ngāi Tūāhuriri hapū, Associate Professor and historian), Jenny May (Architectural Historian, Heritage Professional and MICOMOS), Sina Mulitalo (Samoan Community) and Hatesa Seumanutafa (Canterbury Museum Collections Technician, Human History).

The speakers were inspiring, and the discussions that were provoked have provided us with a number of values and ideas which we can weave into our strategy. Key ideas emerged around the way stories connect us and build understanding, of how they help us to engage with each other and our environment, and how they can educate and inform.

We also discussed the differences between memories and stories, how stories need a voice as well as an audience, and that there is no single viewpoint or version – just different elements and layers within each story depending on who’s telling it. We ended with looking at the ways in which we could collect and weave together all our stories to acknowledge and celebrate our heritage.

Some of these concepts are encapsulated in the following quotes from the workshop:

“Stories provide education for all ages and all cultures.”

 “Stories are the carriers of knowledge.”

 “Stories can give us more understanding and a broader outlook [and an] appreciation and celebration of our diversity. We will be a richer city [for it].”

 Where to next?

We’re spending July and the first half of August working with Ngāi Tahu to draft the strategy, based on the information and values you have given us. We’ll provide a further update in September.  We’re planning more workshops in August and September, when we will be looking at how the values and ideas you’ve given us could be implemented. Together we will develop potential projects and events to protect, promote and celebrate our heritage.

Update: Tangible and Intangible Workshop – 23 May 2018

Our thanks to the presenters and 40 people who attended this workshop at Ferrymead Heritage Park.

Chris Johnston, a Melbourne-based heritage consultant, talked about Intangible Heritage and Community Values, discussing community engagement and facilitation, heritage practice, and the relationships between people and place.  Katharine Watson, president of the New Zealand Archaeological Association, gave a presentation called A Tale of Respectability about the cottage belonging to Mrs Sarah Gault and how the building reflected the social values of its time.

The Council’s Heritage Team is taking the themes and ideas discussed to inform the development of the strategy and its implementation plan. The comments, ideas, notes and suggestions provided by the attendees have been summarised below.

The way forward


(Includes tangible and intangible heritage and the natural and built environment: buildings, places,objects, landscapes, traditions, stories – those things which we inherit and value enough to pass on to future generations)

The places, landscapes, buildings and objects,memories and stories which connect us to those who have come before us, and those who will follow.

  • Sense of Place: Our landscapes, natural and built environment, buildings and stories are what make this place unique.
  • Identity: Our heritage gives us a sense of belonging, pride in who we are and where we have come from, and it holds our communities together.
  • Diversity: We celebrate and learn from the stories of everyone who has made this place home.
  • Cultural Anchor: Our past gives us an anchor in a changing world, and a secure place to start from and return to.
  • Connection: We are linked between generations and across communities (across time and place).

What we learnt from the workshop [PDF, 30 KB]

Update: Council approval for Future of Heritage project  -  September 2017

 On 28 September 2017 Council resolved to

  1. Instruct staff to prepare a Heritage Strategy with an implementation plan outlining a new direction for heritage.
  2. Note that the Strategy is based on the following principles:
    1. our inheritance and legacy;
    2. the recognition of both tangible and intangible heritage;
    3. a story-based approach that acknowledges and respects all our cultures;
    4. under-pinning our local and community sense of place and city identity.
  3. Note that the Strategy is developed in partnership with Ngāi Tahu.
  4.   Note that implementation of the Strategy is developed in partnership with key stakeholders, owners and the community to include, but not limited to:
    1.  A charter or shared values agreement developed through further engagement to implement the new strategic direction collaboratively.
    2. Regular workshops and/or forums to facilitate a collaborative approach to achieving positive heritage outcomes.
    3. Establishment of regular hui with the ngā Rūnanga.
    4. Seek opportunities to improve and enhance local and community use and access.
  5.  Facilitate a workshop with relevant organisations and agencies to consider an overarching strategic approach to move able cultural property in Christchurch city.

 Workshop notes [PDF, 243 KB]

The Future of Heritage in Christchurch and Banks Peninsula - survey results, July 2017 [PDF, 942 KB]

The Council’s Heritage Team presented a summary of its findings from the Future of Heritage project to the Council’s Social and Community Development Committee on Wednesday 2 August 2017.  This collated information from a survey, workshops, community drop-in sessions, students and ongoing dialogue with Ngāi Tahu. 

Information from the survey and community workshops is available above. 

Staff are now preparing a report for the Committee next month.  Those who have provided feedback will receive further details about the recommendations and the meeting when the report has been approved by management.


Family portraits. A burial site. Gothic Revival buildings. A war diary. Tram lines. Traditional food-gathering sites. Band rotundas… Threads from our past create identity.

Heritage remains crucial to Christchurch, despite the loss of many of our historic places and buildings. It’s vital to a vibrant, dynamic and sustainable 21st century city, where we value and cherish our past. Christchurch and Banks Peninsula have a rich and diverse heritage which is a significant part of our district’s identity.

walking forwards, looking backwards

We now have an opportunity to reconsider exactly what ‘heritage’ means to us – now and for the future. It’s a chance to re-engage people with their history and to broaden the current definition of heritage to embrace the more intangible elements: our relationship with the place where we live, and the stories of its people and places.

To pave the way for a change in direction, the Council is keen to work with everyone who wants to help create a shared vision and a new future for heritage. The heritage community needs to explore new ways of working together to create this shared vision. 

Let’s celebrate the essential role of heritage in Christchurch’s regeneration to shape a city where we value where we’ve come from, while embracing our future: ‘walking forwards, looking backwards’.

  To do this we want to find out:

    • What you value
    • Why you value it
    • How we celebrate heritage
    • How we retain it
    • The heritage legacy you’d like to leave for future generations in Christchurch
    • The role you or your organisation could play in the future.
Image of Moncks Cave, Redcliffs

Moncks Cave, Redcliffs

Image of Canterbury Museum

Canterbury Museum

Image of Heritage Week 2016 - passing on traditions

Heritage Week 2016 

Drop-in sessions

Image of Main Wharf, Akaroa

Main Wharf, Akaroa

Saturday 29 April, 11.30am–2pm
The Gaiety Hall, 105 Rue Jolie, Akaroa

Wednesday 3 May, 4.30–7pm
The Function Room, Christchurch Civic Offices, 53 Hereford Street

Saturday 13 May, 10am–noon
Grubb Cottage, 62 London Street, Lyttelton

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How the decision is made

  • Decision made