Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker raises valid issues when he advises Wellingtonians that we need to think about what heritage buildings we want to keep as we continue with our earthquake strengthening programme.
Money is tight and not every building is worthwhile saving. But there is a counter argument here. The total cost of getting all earthquake prone buildings over current code is around $1b which in the scheme of things is not that much. What we need to do is be innovative in the way we think about funding strengthening. There are a whole lot of mechanisms that could be employed from grants to loans to tax breaks.
I also have an issue of categorising what heritage we save. Who is to be the expert on what we save and how can we rank buildings, it would be akin to ranking people.
Image courtesy of historic.org.nz