Heritage listing may safeguard Stockade views

Stockade Hill could soon be placed on the New Zealand Heritage List.

And the news that it may be listed as a Category 2 historic place has delighted supporters who have fought to protect Stockade Hill and its views.

Andrew Laing, convener of the support group the Defencibles and a committee member of the Howick Residents and Ratepayers Association (HRRA), has embraced the Heritage New Zealand report which was recently published for a period of public submission.

“At last Heritage NZ have completed their exhaustive research and report on Stockade Hill and recommend a Status 2 classification for the historic site,” said Laing.

“This is an exciting step forward for saving the views from Stockade Hill and the special character of Howick Village.

“The Defencibles, a group of passionate locals who lead the Saving Stockade Hill Views movement, are extremely delighted progress has been made towards saving this national treasure.

We believe Stockade Hill forms a vital element of the special character of Howick, not only providing the spectacular welcoming view driving into Howick but the essential element of the unique Fencible history of Auckland.”

The HRRA in March 2018 made a request to Heritage NZ for Stockade Hill to be given a Heritage NZ listing.

“The HRRA committee made a submission stating, amongst other relevant points, that when Stockade Hill is compared with other Category 2 listed sites, it is of significantly broader historical and heritage importance and therefore should be considered as a Category 1 listed site,” said Laing.

“We (HRRA) had also hoped that the Heritage NZ report would have added weight to our extensive submissions last month to the Independent Hearings Panel (IHP) for Plan Change 34, in which we asked the Commissioners to include all of Howick’s heritage character and amenity values, both business and residential, in PC34’s Special Character Area Statement (SCAS).”

Views from Stockade Hill may be protected by a Heritage NZ listing. Photo supplied

Laing said a positive decision by the Commissioners would have obliged Auckland Council to create an accurate Special Character Area Statement for Howick which, amongst other things, would give protection to Stockade Hill’s 360 degree views by another route.

“However the deliberately narrow scope of Council’s PC34 prevented the Commissioners from including Stockade Hill in the protection of its Special Character Area Statement, PC34 was limited to the business area of Howick only,” he said. “The Commissioners fully understood the historical significance of Stockade Hill and were moved by depth of knowledge and passion of the local community.”

“The next step is to fix what stakeholders failed to create, that is to create another plan change which will protect all of Howick’s heritage, character and amenity values, protection which every other significant Fencible settlement in Auckland already has. We trust that the Heritage NZ status will help ensure this is done.”