From today, the New Zealand Historic Places Trust will be known as Heritage New Zealand. The te reo Māori name of the organisation, Pouhere Taonga, remains the same.
“The name change is one of a number of changes included in the Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Bill currently before Parliament that effectively completes the organisation’s transition from NGO to Crown Entity,” says Heritage New Zealand Chief Executive, Bruce Chapman.
“Although we have been a Crown Entity since 2004, the Bill incorporates some changes to the governance of the organisation, removes provisions for branch committees, provides for recognition of two new categories of heritage sites: national historic landmarks and wahi tupuna, and simplifies and streamlines existing regulatory processes.
“With the introduction of a large number of policy and procedural changes that will need to occur on the date the Bill, once passed, takes effect, it makes sense to complete all the work involved with changing the name ahead of the legislation. And of course the change to the legislation is not a pre-requisite to the change of name.”
Mr Chapman says another key change proposed in the legislation has seen most of the organisation’s branch committees transition to become independent regional NGOs.
“Many have retained the Historic Places reference in their new names and this has led to some confusion for the public. We believe now is the right time to make the change as it clarifies who we are and ensures those new organisations have the opportunity to reinforce who they are in their local communities.”
While there will be changes to some aspects of the way Heritage New Zealand functions, there is much that will remain the same.
Heritage New Zealand will continue to work in partnership with others, including iwi and hapu Māori, local and central government agencies, heritage NGOs, property owners, and its volunteers.
“We will continue to provide advice to both central and local government and property owners on the conservation of New Zealand’s most significant heritage sites. We will continue to maintain the national register of historic places, manage 48 nationally significant heritage properties, manage a collection of 70,000 items, regulate the modification of archaeological sites, and manage the National Heritage Preservation Incentive Fund.
“While we receive 80% of our funding from the Crown, like many other Crown agencies we will continue to be dependent for the remainder of our funding from our supporters, donations, grants, bequests, and through revenue generated at the 48 heritage properties we care for around the country.
“We’re aiming to keep the cost of the name change as low as possible. In the year to date we have spent around $10,500, although that figure will increase over coming weeks. For example, we’ll be paying for new stationery, as our central store of stationery has been run down in anticipation of the change.”
Mr Chapman says the change of name is a major step for such a well-known organisation, but it is a logical one that helps to reinforce the organisation’s role.
Updated on 23rd July 2015