Visitor centre demolition a fait accompli

DoC says old Aniwaniwa Visitor Centre difficult to maintain because of weather tightness problems and earthquake susceptibility.

DoC says old Aniwaniwa Visitor Centre difficult to maintain because of weather tightness problems and earthquake susceptibility.

DON'T DEMOLISH: The Institute of Architects has urged Department of Conservation to save the Aniwaniwa Visitor Centre. The 1970s former visitor centre building at Lake Waikaremoana has been steadily deteriorating since it closed and was vacated in 2008. Picture by Historic Places Aotearoa and architects Tennent Brown

THE Department of Conservation says it will still pull down the Aniwaniwa Visitor Centre following criticism of its decision by the New Zealand Institute of Architects.

Aniwaniwa is a Heritage New Zealand Category One historic place located at Lake Waikaremoana in Te Urewera. The late John Scott, a pioneering Maori architect and prominent figure in 20th-century New Zealand architecture, designed the building.

DoC has decided to demolish the building but the NZIA has urged it to reconsider because of the historic architecture.

In a statement this morning, DoC said the old Aniwaniwa Visitor Centre had always been difficult to maintain due to weather tightness issues and earthquake susceptibility.

Following an engineer’s assessment, it was deemed unsafe and closed in 2008. DoC’s most recent advice indicates it would cost about $3 million to bring the building up to a usable standard.

“DoC is mindful of the heritage and cultural values of the building and is currently working with Tuhoe and Te Urewera Board to ensure that these, along with salvageable materials, are incorporated in the new wharehou.”

Following its settlement with the Crown, Tuhoe is investing in a new wharehou on the shores of Lake Waikaremoana.

This wharehou re-establishes Tuhoe on the shores of the lake and will include visitor facilities.

DoC is working with Tuhoe on this project as part of the Crown’s partnership in Te Urewera.

THE Department of Conservation says it will still pull down the Aniwaniwa Visitor Centre following criticism of its decision by the New Zealand Institute of Architects.

Aniwaniwa is a Heritage New Zealand Category One historic place located at Lake Waikaremoana in Te Urewera. The late John Scott, a pioneering Maori architect and prominent figure in 20th-century New Zealand architecture, designed the building.

DoC has decided to demolish the building but the NZIA has urged it to reconsider because of the historic architecture.

In a statement this morning, DoC said the old Aniwaniwa Visitor Centre had always been difficult to maintain due to weather tightness issues and earthquake susceptibility.

Following an engineer’s assessment, it was deemed unsafe and closed in 2008. DoC’s most recent advice indicates it would cost about $3 million to bring the building up to a usable standard.

“DoC is mindful of the heritage and cultural values of the building and is currently working with Tuhoe and Te Urewera Board to ensure that these, along with salvageable materials, are incorporated in the new wharehou.”

Following its settlement with the Crown, Tuhoe is investing in a new wharehou on the shores of Lake Waikaremoana.

This wharehou re-establishes Tuhoe on the shores of the lake and will include visitor facilities.

DoC is working with Tuhoe on this project as part of the Crown’s partnership in Te Urewera.

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