Te Aroha News
17 January 2008
Full Steam Ahead for Conservation Plan
While council has backed away from offering its own protection for the historic Te Aroha Railway Station building, the owners are full steam ahead.
Te Aroha Mountain Railway Society chair Mary Massey said last week a consultant had been engaged to prepare a conservation plan for the station on Terminus St.
The society has restored the building and is looking at opening a tourist railway venture on the associated stretch of line.
Mrs Massey said Rail Heritage New Zealand granted $4000 for the conservation plan, with the society meeting the balance of about $2000.
Work on the plan will start later this month and take about four weeks to complete.
“We will see what the priorities are and then get fundraising,” Mrs Massey said.
The Historic Places Trust said the station is worthy of inclusion in Matamata-Piako District Council’s district plan because of the pivotal role it played in the history of Te Aroha.
However, the trust said full consultation with council sub-committee Te Manawhenua Mo Matamata-Piako is “essential” to determine the status of the building if the land – owned by the Office of treaty Settlements – is required for use in Waitangi Treaty settlements.
While in favour of protecting heritage buildings, the forum said there is potential for conflicting issues when the station is owned by one party and the land by another.
Council staff said protection of the site will be difficult unless both parties are “pro-protection”.
Options are to be investigated.
By Steve Edwards @ Piako Post