Community Scoop

Vandals hit Matanaka Farm Buildings

Press Release – Historic Places Trust

Vandalism to the Category I Matanaka Farm Buildings at Waikouaiti has angered the New Zealand Historic Places Trust (NZHPT).8 February 2012


Vandals hit Matanaka Farm Buildings

A window at the Matanaka Farm Buildings smashed by vandals.  Picture credit: NZHPT A window at the Matanaka Farm Buildings smashed by vandals. Picture credit: NZHPT

Vandalism to the Category I Matanaka Farm Buildings at Waikouaiti has angered the New Zealand Historic Places Trust (NZHPT).

NZHPT Heritage Destinations Manager Paul McGahan said five windows in two of the buildings had been damaged, with 27 panes of original historic glass in the stables and granary buildings smashed. The damage is likely to have occurred on or before Friday, 3 February.

“The police have been notified and temporary window covering to weatherproof the affected buildings is being undertaken while the damaged windows are repaired and replaced,” Mr McGahan said.

“This is a valuable part of Otago, and New Zealand’s, heritage and history. It is disappointing and frustrating that someone feels compelled to indulge in such a mindless and pointless criminal activity.

“The NZHPT looks after the Matanaka Farm Buildings on behalf of all New Zealanders. It’s just a shame that someone decided to do this to this stunning site that is enjoyed by many people each year.”

Having faced huge increases in costs over the past year, including insurance, for the 48 properties it cares for, the NZHPT is particularly disheartened by the vandalism.

“Finding the money to keep up with ongoing repairs and maintenance is a huge part of our job as it is,” said Mr McGahan. “Pointless destruction makes our job harder.”

The historic NZHPT property was originally home to whaler, farmer, ship owner and merchant Johnny Jones from 1843. The farm buildings are located close to steep cliffs that overlook the Pacific Ocean.

Mr McGahan urged anyone who had information to contact the police.

“I know the local community will be the first to step forward with any information, but it’s likely that whoever did this is also stupid enough to brag about it and hopefully when they do, others will do the right thing and come forward.

“As the earthquakes in Canterbury have shown, our heritage is a precious resource. These buildings are unique and important in the stories they can tell current and future generations.”


Registering historic places

Registration is the inclusion on the NZHPT Register of a place or area that is considered part of New Zealand’s historical and cultural heritage. Places may be included on the Register if they possess aesthetic, archaeological, architectural, cultural, historic, scientific, social, spiritual, technological or traditional values. Under the Historic Places Act (1993), places registered may be accorded a ranking of Category I or II status. The NZHPT also registers wahi tapu and wahi tapu areas.

Registration does not provide any direct protection to historic places or wahi tapu. Protection comes about when local authorities decide to protect their local historic places by scheduling them in their district plans under the Resource Management Act 1991. In this case a resource consent is often required from the Council concerned to modify any scheduled place. About 90 percent of places on the Register are also scheduled in District Plans.

More than 5,600 sites are included on the Register which can be searched online at

More about the NZHPT

NZHPT is a Crown Entity and receives most of its funding from Government. It also has a large public membership. We aim to ensure New Zealand’s historic heritage is identified and protected in order to provide present and future generations of New Zealanders with a sense of place and belonging.

We work in co-operation with owners of historic places, developers, local authorities, communities, iwi, hapu and government agencies.

Our responsibilities under the Historic Places Act 1993 include: • Regulating the modification of archaeological sites • Maintaining the national Register of historic places and wahi tapu • Working closely with local authorities and property owners to explore options for sympathetic adaptation of historic places and reusing them in place of demolition • Providing specialist advice on the conservation of Maori heritage • Managing a portfolio of 48 nationally significant heritage properties • Advocating for the protection of significant heritage places through submissions on planning documents and resource consents • Running heritage education, training and promotion programmes • Administering the National Heritage Preservation Incentive Fund, and • Assessing and making recommendations for conservation of historic heritage prior to disposal of Crown land. ENDS

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