Monday, 16 September 2013

Media release:Huge Heritage Win for Roskill: Borough Council Chambers Saved

“After a strong community campaign to save the old Mt Roskill Borough Council Chambers, we are thrilled by the unanimous vote of the Strategy & Finance Committee on Friday to support a $3.6 million restoration of this local heritage landmark”, says Garth Houltham, a Roskill Community Voice candidate and Chair of the Mt Roskill (Puketapapa) Historical Society.

“This building is central to Roskill’s identity. It is a local landmark and there were serious concerns about proposals to demolish it after toxic black mould was discovered in the building in 2010. However a strong community campaign led by the Historical Society, including a petition of over 1000 local people, set the scene for a successful outcome”, says Roskill Community Voice candidate and Heritage portfolio holder on the Local Board, Michael Wood who spoke as part of a Board deputation to the Strategy & Finance meeting.

“We now look forward to sympathetic restoration of the building and its return to civic and community usage. Generations of Roskillites used the building to connect with local government services and it is great that this will happen again in the near future”, says Garth Houltham.

“This heritage win caps off three years of great progress on heritage issues led by Roskill Community Voice. On the Board we have won resources to survey Roskill’s heritage, we have secured funding for heritage interpretive signage, we have led development of the new Suffrage Memorial, and under the new Unitary Plan a number of significant heritage sites will receive protection because of our advocacy”, says Michael Wood.

“In the next term of the Board we will continue this work. Roskill Community Voice is the only team to release clear policieson heritage issues in Puketapapa and we commit to implementing them if elected. Roskill’s heritage has been neglected for many years, but as the successful campaign to save the Borough Council Chambers shows, heritage is now a priority in our community”, says Garth Houltham.