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Avondale

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Avondale-Waterview
Historical Society Incorporated

March—April 2010
Newsletter No. 44

Prepared by Lisa Truttman, President and Editor Historic Places Act Review
St Ninians 150th
A copy of a letter received the NZ Historic Places
The Society endorsed a proposed application in Trust, of which the AWHS is a member, is enclosed
December to the Avondale Community Board for a with this newsletter. This was presented at the
sign to be installed outside St Ninians to commemorate Society’s February meeting, and will come before the
the 150th anniversary of its completion. This has been members again in April to consider a resolution as to
submitted, via Catherine Farmer of the Avondale written response to NZHPT and the Ministry of Culture
Community Board, to the Board for consideration. and Heritage, possibly at the start of a series of submis-
sions on the changes to the Act.
A real concern has arisen as to what is to become of
Avondale’s oldest heritage building. On making Of particular concern to are the two proposals to (a)
enquiries through Catherine to Council as to what is abolish the local branch committees for NZHPT, and
happening, I received the following email on 5 (b) the appointment in future of all members of the
February from Council’s Democracy Services: NZHPT Board by the government. At the moment, the
Board and branch committees are elected from the
“The current status is as follows: membership of NZHPT.
“After receiving a report regarding the contamination
of the building/site, it was decided to make the build- In terms of the first proposal, the abolition of the
ing a community leased building, with adults only ac- branch committees, part of the reasoning behind this as
cess. They were going to strip the lead paint from the expressed in the letter is: “The NZHPT’s own history
outside and repaint the entire outside of the building reflects branch committees’ record of advocating for
and to strip the paint on the inside up to 2 metres and heritage, but on occasion there has been tension be-
repaint the inside. It was decided to lay a concrete tween the NZHPT’s regulatory role and the advocacy
path to the door. However, once work commenced it of an active membership which has constrained the ef-
was discovered that there was substantial cracking in fectiveness of the organisation. One example is in
the building structure. those cases where branch committees oppose the
activities or plans of other Crown agencies.”
“A report was requested from an engineer to deter-
mine whether or not the building is sound. Now that There is a feeling that these reforms will curtail any
the report has been received, officers from various public input into what has been recognised by many as
divisions will meet to discuss the way forward.” NZ’s main community organisation serving as a
Heritage Protection Authority. It appears to be ironic,
I held up publication of the Newsletter for a week, given the fact that the genesis of the NZHPT lies in the
hoping to hear what the outcome of the meeting was. public protests over the demolition of sites such as
There has been no word up to publication. Partington’s Windmill here in Auckland in the 1950s.
8 April 1860 is the day the Whau Presbyterian More updates on this situation will be published as they
Church was opened officially, being the base come to hand.
for Presbyterian services from Avondale to
Kaukapakapa, and Avondale’s first school
building from 1860.
On Thursday 8 April 2010, 10 am, readers are Next meeting:
welcome to join me in a gathering outside the Saturday 3 April 2010, 2.30 pm
old building to celebrate its opening, rain or Lions Hall, cnr. Blockhouse Bay Road
shine. Contact me on 828-8494 if you’d like to and Great North Road.
help out with this.
Stories of a river Trading Table

Thanks to those who have responded so far to last If anyone has any spare small to medium sized plastic
issue’s appeal for info and memories about the river. I plant pots — I’d love to have them for potting plants
haven’t heard from Friends of the Whau yet as to what for sale at Dawn’s trading table held at each meeting.
they intend to do with regard to their 10th anniversary My contact details are in the Journal. — Lisa
yet. If they decide not to mark the occasion after all,
I’ll see about publishing a collection on the river my-
self, in consultation with AWHS members. NZ Federation Conference 2010

Referring to the advice published in the last newsletter,
gremlins got in the works and knocked out the
registration fee, which is $40 per person, on top of fees
for dinner, Huia Museum, etc.

Avondale History Group Photos

Ron Oates, author of Challenge of the Whau (1994),
has very kindly donated to the Society a collection of
photographs gathered by the Group when researching
and compiling the book. There are over 150
photographs, comprising around 100 images, some
previously unpublished. Two examples at left, and
below.
Left: Avondale Primary primers building and side
classrooms/dental nurse rooms, as seen from railway
house.

This photo, from the Avondale History Group collection, is inscribed “The French’s glasshouse and
property on the north side of Tiverton Road.” It looks as if this was the property of Alma Victor French,
a glazier (1920s), who lived at the corner of New Windsor and Tiverton.

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