Heritage Advisor and Heritage Fund
Published on 14 March 2023
Matching the old with the new, Waitaki District Council appointed a new Heritage Advisor just as the latest round of heritage funding has opened.
Heritage Advisor, Dr Mark Smith said, “Heritage in the Waitaki is not just beautiful limestone buildings. Today I am wearing elegant Victorian clothes, but the Waitaki has a history greater than fine top hats.”
Originally from Ngaruawahia, Dr Smith worked as a business analyst, lecturer, and consultant before becoming operations manager of the Ōamaru Whitestone Civic Trust where he oversaw the completion of several large projects, including the installation of a lift in the 1882 Loan and Mercantile building.
Dr Smith continued, “It was marvelous to contribute in such a concrete way to the life of our community. It was a pleasure to work with the volunteers, tenants, members, and trustees of the OWCT.”
Dr Smith is striving toward people connecting with their own experiences within the heritage landscape. Dr Smith continues, “Heritage sites can be more than the grand homes of the wealthy - they can be rock art sites, a small home, a dam, a memorial, a factory, a grave. Places where people made their lives, and their stories can be found.”
If you want to protect such a place, you can list it as a Historic Heritage item with Council and seek funding from many organisations including the Waitaki Heritage Fund. First established in 1992, the purpose of the fund is to encourage heritage place owners to retain, preserve, conserve, and maintain historic buildings and sites. Council opens this fund three times a year with the current round open for applications until Monday 15 May 2023.
Dr Smith recognises the significant heritage in the Waitaki District and the major opportunity to become more prosperous as a community. “Waitaki is underrated. You must travel to somewhere like Venice to see just some of what we have right here. Waitaki also has places that are like nowhere else. We have a legacy and heritage and it's something I want to share with the world – but even more importantly I’d like us to see it in and for ourselves.”
Forms can be found at: Waitaki Heritage Fund | Waitaki District Council or by visiting HQ or the Waihemo Service Centre.