28 Jan 2010

Historic Places Trust committees to be disestablished

1:56 pm on 28 January 2010

The Government is proposing to disestablish the 24 local branch committees of the Historic Places Trust.

The Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, Chris Finlayson, announced the plans following a review of the Historic Places Act.

The trust says its local committees work closely with the community to raise awareness of heritage issues.

But the Minister says disestablishing them will allow for better advocacy in local communities, and local activists will no longer be constrained by having to work within the framework of the trust.

Mr Finlayson says the committees used to do a lot of the regulatory work but this is now done in Wellington.

It's also proposed that the Trust's national board will be reduced from nine to eight members, all of whom would be appointed by the Government.

The Government has hinted that there will be no funding for local branches under the changes, but Central Otago Historic Places Trust spokesperson David George says the money the branch gets from members is more than enough for its needs.