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Victoria Road
Auckland, Auckland, 0624
New Zealand

Devonport Heritage 2017, an incorporated society formed in 2017, promotes heritage and sustainable development in Devonport.

north head from mt vic.jpg


Filtering by Tag: Devonport Heritage

news roundup for May

Claudia Page

Devonport Heritage has decided to stand firm in the face of a threat to claim $21,150 in Environment Court costs from the society over the Masonic Hotel case. We believe the costs are an unreasonable imposition on a community group which has spent 22 years campaigning to protect heritage in Devonport. Recently Baycorp have been actively pursuing the society over the unpaid amount.

On 9 May our spokesperson and Deputy Chair Margot McRae presented our final Unitary Plan submission to a panel of Commissioners.   Our evidence supports the retention of the 8 metre HSA( Height Sensitive Area)  for Devonport Town Centre.

We reject the proposed amendment that  allows almost half of the HSA in the Town centre to be 13 metres. This conflicts with the whole intention of an HSA and is simply not warranted for a town/maunga relationship as important as Devonport and Mt Victoria/Takarunga.  We are especially concerned about the lack of assessment of the effects of the proposed amendment. Insufficient evidence has been provided that a 13 metre height limit will not affect the views of the mountain. Expert caucusing between two landscape architects and a member of the Devonport business association, and a walk around Devonport is not enough to justify the dramatic downgrading of Devonport’s HSA.

The fact is that reasonable development can occur in the town centre through the normal resource consent process. There are sites where greater heights will not impede views, but the correct avenue for proving this is through the non-complying consent process. If it’s shown that the extra height will not interfere with cone views, then there is no reason why it shouldn’t be approved.

In his rebuttal Peter Raeburn for Auckland Council supports the retention of the non-complying status for HSAs generally as the ‘best way of ensuring adequate attention is given to the prospect of adverse effects’. So he considers it the best method for other HSAs but not for Devonport.

The argument for increased heights is in fact based on an attempt to reduce consent and compliance costs for future development. Basically to make is easier and cheaper to go up.

Should we lose views merely to allow developers to keep their costs down?

In Summary - The Unitary plan process has become a debate about intensification – and the Devonport Town centre seems to encapsulate this. This intensification fever has gripped council and the planners and completely overtaken the whole process.

Yes to intensification -  but not at any cost.

Local community groups are the only ones standing up and saying ‘the price is too high’! Devonport and the HSA is a prime example of this. But it applies across the city.

Our volcanic cones that are so unique to Auckland must be sacrosanct. Surely in this great Auckland Supercity of the 21 century there must be room to better acknowledge, celebrate and respect the enduring connection between this maunga and this little town. 

The very name Takarunga translates as "Hill Standing Above", and that is how it should remain.

For further reading please refer to documents on our Downloadable Resources page

Auckland Council slippery slope sign   

Auckland Council slippery slope sign







Village views of maunga under threat

Spokesperson McRae

Historic view of Mt Victoria from the foot of the main street

Historic view of Mt Victoria from the foot of the main street

Auckland's Volcanic Cone issue is being re-opened by the Unitary Plan panel.  It has been proposed that building height in about half the Devonport business centre be raised to 13 metres. At present the shopping centre is covered by the Height Sensitive Area which allows only buildings to 9m. This has been in place for forty years but is now under threat.

The new map that has been pushed forward determinedly by the Devonport Business Association, allows for only the facade of the heritage buildings on the western side of Victoria Road to be kept at the present height , with taller buildings up to 13m to rise up right behind them.

We believe this is facadism of the worst kind and will ruin the heritage buildings and obscure views to Mt Victoria. The proposal will also allow for four storey buildings along the northern side of Fleet Street, throughout most of the the supermarket car-park, the east side of Wynyard Street and along a section of Clarence Street.

if these changes are approved they will result in the loss of views and also damage the relationship the village has with Mt Victoria. It could potentially ruin Devonport's identity and its sense of place.

Devonport Heritage Inc will be vigorously opposing this at the re-convened hearing on Viewshafts on May 4.

A link to our submission and further information can be found here

Previously 8m was the maximum for Victoria Road, under the current proposal it could go as high as 13m

Previously 8m was the maximum for Victoria Road, under the current proposal it could go as high as 13m

Victoria Road in 2016

Victoria Road in 2016

Ryman's retirement village - pushing for full public notification

Spokesperson McRae

Wakakura Crescent looking to Mt Victoria -Takarunga

Devonport Heritage is lobbying for public notification of the proposed facility at Wakakura Crescent/Ngataringa Road.  It seems a little disingenuous for this to be described as a "village" , when it is in fact a complex of multi-story buildings being inserted into a quiet residential neighbourhood.

We have no argument with a retirement complex as a concept, but the size and scale must be appropriate to the site and respect for the heritage aspects of the site should be front of mind.

At present the site is zoned Residential 4B, and whole the proposed Unitary Plan allows development of 3-4 storeys, this application is applying to build 5 and 6 storey blocks. The Urban Design Panel have looked at the application and in their opinion further consideration of heights and lengths of blocks is needed, along with looking at view-shafts between the blocks.

This issue has many aspects other than the widely publicised effects on traffic: i.e exemption for providing a public esplanade along the foreshore _"Pollys Park/ The Glade"; removal of trees; excavation and alteration of a heritage site ( all Discretionary Activities ) and the demolition of an Archaeological Site -Duder's Brickworks ( Non-Complying Activity)







information for submitters on 159 Victoria Road

Claudia Page

Making a submission on the proposed daycare in Victoria Road? Here are some of the details you will need and a link to a printable submission form. You can also fill in an on-line version on the council's website, and attach any supporting documents as well. SUBMISSIONS CLOSE AT 5 P.M THIS TUESDAY 9 FEBRUARY.

submission form

Submission form details to fill in:

The details to use in your submissions are:

Application number : LN2142117  Name of Applicant: Butterbee Childcare  Address of proposed activity: 159 Victoria Road, Devonport 0624

IMPORTANT - you must send a copy of your submission to the applicant as soon as reasonably practical c/- The Planning Room,  P O BOX 35 674 Browns Bay, 0753, attn. Duncan Ross.



Devonport Heritage Annual General Meeting 2015- Notice

Claudia Page

Notice of Annual General Meeting 2015

Our Annual General Meeting is held in late November each year. This year the meeting will be held on Monday 30 November. 7.30 p.m. at the Devonport Library. We welcome any member or supporter , or new member to come along hear what Devonport Heritage has achieved over the last year. To join our committee just come along and raise your hand when we call for nominations!

All regular committee meetings are also open to anyone who would like to come along participate or any resident who would like to raise an issue with us.

Please refer to the AGM page for last year's minutes and the

Apologies to

The committee meets monthly usually on a Monday evening, from February to November.

Additional height controls for Devonport village centre

Claudia Page

Devonport Heritage made a submission to the Unitary Plan hearing panel today regarding Additional Height Controls which have been proposed for the Devonport main street. Margot MacRae represented us, read the submission below:

Submission by Devonport Heritage on Topic 078 30/10/15

1. Our organisation has called for Devonport’s commercial centre to be removed from

the Town Centre zone.

The principle reason for this is that the underlying height control of 12.5 metres is

inappropriate to the historic village centre of Devonport.

We have submitted that the business centre be scheduled as an historic place and we are

backed up by Heritage New Zealand.

2. Devonport is unlike the other areas zoned as Town Centres.

If you go across to Devonport this weekend you’ll find two Clydesdale horses pulling a

12- seater cart around the main streets. It’s a hugely popular visitor attraction.

It holds up the traffic but nobody toots or yells at it. It’s just part of the life there and has

been going for 23 years.

Can you imagine this in Parnell or Takapuna, Grey Lynn or any other Town Centres?

3. A height limit of 12.5 for the main Devonport centre will invite intensive

development which will put all that makes Devonport special, at risk.

The principle objective of the zoning is – that the scale and intensity of town centres is

increased .

This is entirely wrong for Devonport’s centre which is widely recognised as a highly

intact, authentic heritage area.

• The western side of the Victoria Road looks today largely as it did in the 1880’s.

• Heritage NZ is scheduling the Victoria Road as an Historic Area.

• There are 21 scheduled heritage buildings in the lower Victoria Road.

4. Yet the Town Centre zoning with its 12/5 metre height limit carries with it the seeds

of destruction of Devonport’s low key heritage ambience.

The heritage buildings could be increased by two storeys and the non heritage sites will

be built to four storeys and this will diminish and overwhelm the historic quality of the

village. It will be death by a thousand cuts until the heritage becomes a sort of window

dressing. At present it has an authenticity and much of this is because of the scale of the


5. This height limit also clashes with the Height Sensitive Area for volcanic cones as

Victoria Road is entirely covered by the Mount Victoria HSA which is 8 metres.

It seems absurd to have two such contradictory zoning height controls.

6. Some Devonport commercial property owners support the 12.5 height.

The Devonport Business Association and one local property trust have submitted against

the HSA for Devonport as this will interfere with their proposals for increasing building


Their argument is that building to four storeys is the only way of growing the economic

viability of the centre. They say without this the village will die.

7. However when the Association’s submission to the panel was publicized in the local

paper the Flagstaff in July, it created a furore in Devonport. (see attached articles).

The local business owners were outraged they had not even been informed of the

submission made on their behalf and were very much opposed to it.

They argue that the main reason people come to visit Devonport is because it is a

beautiful seaside heritage village.

They recognise that increased height limits and adding storeys to heritage buildings

would put their businesses at risk by destroying the very attractions people come here to


8. The outrage from the business community became so strong that the owner of the

Bookmark bookshop carried out a survey of the local businesses.

This showed that two thirds of businesses did not support the Business Association’s

submission to Paup.

Many were in fact outraged that the submission had been made without proper

consultation with them.

Even the Flagstaff in its editorial called for the DBA to withdraw its submission on


So this is a hot topic in Devonport and rightly so.

9. Not only business owners but residents too love and value the low-key heritage nature

of the commercial area. It is not like other places in Auckland and it should not be classed

as a Town Centre which comes with an open invitation to build 3 to 4 storey buildings.

This is not appropriate for Devonport.

10. I remember when the Super City was being set-up there was a lot of reassuring

statements made that the new city and the Unitary Plan would recognise and value the

unique areas of the city.

We are asking you to honour those promises and give Devonport the recognition it

deserves and remove its zoning as a town centre.

Auckland Heritage protection slashed in Unitary Plan proposal

Claudia Page

Herald Body cartoon October 2015

The New Zealand Herald has previewed proposed changes to heritage protection across Auckland. This is in response to the cautionary proposal stopping demolition of pre-1944 buildings until council had done survey work to identify whether any historic heritage had been ommitted from the heritage schedules. We are not able to view the maps as they are embargoed until 30 October, at which point we have a brief period to make further submissions.  However we are reasonably confident that through lobbying over 20 years much of our most treasured built heritage is either scheduled or subject to special zoning requirements that give some protections.

Background to the height debate - DBA and Devonport Heritage views

Claudia Page

In mid 2013  David Barton from the DBA approached Devonport Heritage to talk about the Unitary Plan and the possibility of the two groups making a joint submission to the hearings.

Several things were discussed at these informal chats. Allowing increased heights and building up to 4 storeys was one such subject.

Devonport Heritage said we could not support increasing the height limits  because we believed this would harm the heritage ambience of Victoria Road and the business district.

However we did agree for the two groups to hold an evening in spring 2013 for invited people where both groups would do a power point presentation on our vision for the Devonport business area. 'But this was stopped in its tracks when shortly before the meeting  Devonport Heritage was told there was not to be a joint presentation. So our views were never heard

We have been very busy doing submissions on several topics for the Untiary Plan hearings and we did not become aware of the scope of the DBA submissions until just before the hearings on Viewshafts and Height Sensitive areas and also on Special/Historic Character and Pre-1944 overlays in June. Negotiating your way through the Unitary Plan website is extremely difficult and the DBA or the BID committee should have helped members and the community by posting their submission on the DBA website or emailing it to members.

This is what most organisations do in order to keep their members informed of their actions.

The DBA and the BID did not do this, which has resulted in member businesses only finding out about the submission made on their behalf when they saw it in the Flagstaff.This is either a terrible oversight or a deliberate attempt to keep the submission under the radar.


Whatever the reason, the DBA clearly does not have the mandate from its members for a submission that calls for the Volcanic cones height sensitive area to be removed from the Devonport business district so that buildings of 12.5 metres can be built as of right.


This submission was not circulated to business members nor to the residents of Devonport and clearly is not supported by most locals.

In view of such strong opposition the DBA should withdraw its submission to the Unitary Plan.

Takarunga / Mt Victoria anchors Victoria Road