By David Watt
Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga regional staff are working with private owners of heritage listed properties who have received grants for conservation work. In particular, the 21 applicants who were successful in getting funding support from the National Heritage Preservation Incentive Fund in 2022.
This year’s grant round is open until the end of June, with decisions being made by the Board in mid-August.
The priorities for funding grants are:
- conservation and preservation of sites of significance to Māori; and/or
- conservation work to heritage places to increase resilience and respond to the impacts of climate change, including repairs, and site stabilisation relating to land and archaeological sites; and/or
- seismic strengthening and risk management planning; and
- all other eligible work.
Laura Thompson and William Finlayson, owners of Lennel, a Category 1 heritage listed property in Albert Street, Invercargill, received an incentive fund grant last year for the preparation of a historic garden masterplan, a tree assessment and planning, tree pruning and soil reconditioning. They have expressed their gratitude to Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga for this support, and work is proceeding.
Lennel is a fine example of a large Victorian house and gardens. It is historically significant as the home of John Turnbull Thomson, a key figure in the settlement of Otago and Southland during the 19th century. His survey methods allowed for rapid settlement by run holders before the gold rushes began. The system had such advantages to settlers that it was adopted for the whole of New Zealand and Thomson was made Surveyor-General.
Laura Thompson says she found the process and connection with Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga with their funding application positive.
“The funding is really helpful for us, as has been the support offered by the regional team in Otago/Southland. These large, complex and expensive projects can feel overwhelming at times and having such knowledgeable and helpful people in your corner adds so much to not only maintaining high standards of work through their advice, but also the contact makes you feel you are not doing it all alone.”
Property owners considering an application to the incentive fund can go to our website to get details regarding this year's grant applications or contact our regional offices for assistance in obtaining application forms and criteria for grants. Regional offices are in Kerikeri, Auckland, Tauranga, Wellington, Christchurch, and Dunedin.