Our heritage character areas bring history to life, allowing locals and visitors to delve deeply into Napier's past.
As land became available for development – particularly through the uplift created as a result of the 1931 earthquake – Napier’s differing architectural styles and patterns emerged. Some of these we know well – the art deco style, for instance – while others are less obvious.
Sometimes, whole streets or entire suburbs display a consistent architectural style and development pattern that is ‘of its time’, and it is these elements that give an area its character, sense of place, and connection to the past.
Council has reviewed all existing heritage character areas and the ways in which we offer protection. As a result of the review, we have:
Character is a cohesive concentration of similar natural and built characteristics that give an area its sense of identity, usually when viewed from the street or in a public place. It considers:
The District Plan has identified a number of heritage character areas for over 20 years, but there has been varying success for protecting each character area. The current review of the District Plan provides an opportunity to revisit the identification of areas for protection, the extent of the areas and the provisions that apply to them.
Council worked with a local architect experienced in assessing heritage character, who evaluated the contribution each property makes to the character of its existing character area. The architect also assessed parts of Napier South, and recommended it as a good additional candidate for protection.
We then analysed the results of the heritage assessment, drawing character area boundaries to reflect where the greatest and most consistent concentration of the various character areas were. This resulted in some rationalisation of the existing character areas in the current District Plan.
Heritage character areas are tangible reminders of our past, and provide a sense of place. Studies show that heritage character areas also drive a price premium for properties, as more and more people seek older homes within established neighbourhoods and close to the city.
For those people who own properties within existing heritage character areas such as the Marewa Art Deco Character Zone, Marewa State Housing Character Zone, and Te Awa Bungalow Character Zone, little will change.
Provisions will differ depending on which character area your property is in, but the regulations could include controls on:
We’re working with property owners, heritage groups and other stakeholders to make sure the District Plan controls on heritage character areas achieve the right balance between protecting what we love about our heritage character areas and enabling continued use of them.
We welcome suggestions as to how heritage character should be managed through the District Plan.
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