Historic building in Waikaremoana to be demolished

By Mere McLean
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

The fight to keep the Aniwaniwa Visitors Centre in Waikaremoana ended today as the Department of Conservation began the removal and dismantling of the building.  Family members of John Scott, the architect who designed the building, are opposing its removal.  

It's a building that's been condemned. It belongs to the Department of Conservation who says it's too costly to maintain. 

Designed by Māori architect John Scott, architects have rallied around the Scott family in support to keep the building.  

"We've got letters from DOC as recent as 2012 that said the building does not leak, so I don't think this building is terminal and it would not cost that much money to save the building," says president of Historical Places, James Blackburne.

The Visitors Centre was closed to the general public in 2008. From that day till now, the Scott family has been fighting for this building.  
 
Ngāti Ruapani ki Waikaremoana is supporting the Scott family. Iwi member Tahurioterangi Trainor Tait believes that this building is a political football.  

"If this building was to remain standing under Ruapani ki Waikaremoana's customs, this will be cause trouble for Tūhoe as they won't be allowed to enter into Waikaremoana." 

This area now comes under Te Urewera following the Tūhoe settlement. Parts of the building will be reused and later utilised in a separate building being built by Tūhoe in Waikaremoana.

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