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The Christchurch Heritage Awards Charitable Trust celebrated its 10th anniversary in June 2021.  Over this time the Trust, in conjunction with its family of sponsors and supporters, has witnessed outstanding success of this biennial event. Each event attracted a diverse and exciting range of entries from cabins to mansions, from small to large commercial and public buildings, from rural to urban structures and country houses and the best of the best new builds as heritage of the future. The events were occasions where networking of like-minded heritage advocates and professionals from around Canterbury came together in celebration of this important social event.

The Awards were initiated by myself in 2010 and have been run as a not for profit trust.  Their success can be attributed to invaluable sponsorship from several key businesses and organisations over the past 12 years. As the awards are totally reliant on sponsorship it has been increasingly difficult to continue without it.  Therefore, the decision has been made to pause the awards for the time being. We are deeply appreciative of the support our previous sponsors have shown and understand entirely that in some cases their time has come to stand aside for others to step up and show the support required to run future awards.

This means a long-term pause for the Canterbury Heritage Awards, as we, the trustees, take time to re-think and re-imagine the awards in a manner that enables a sustainable future and of recognising those who have contributed to the protection and future of historic heritage in Canterbury.

Expressions of interest to support a future event as a key sponsor are invited. Please call Geoff Bone (Event Convener) on 0274 858 185 if you wish to know more.

So, in the meantime, on behalf of the trustees, keep up the good work.  You have all either individually or collectively been complicit in keeping our history alive, to be remembered and cherished.

With kind regards
Dame Anna Crighton
DNZM, QSO, JP, PhD(Otago)

September 2022

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Why support heritage?

Public opinion varies when it comes to heritage buildings and places. It always has. We only need to read letters to The Press, comments on heritage and news articles to determine that heritage means different things to different people.

Heritage values can be assessed as archaeological, architectural, cultural, scientific, social, spiritual, technological and/or traditional. Post-earthquakes the community’s spirit is weary but empty buildings, vacant spaces and hurried replacements that are out-of-character with an area and will impact on how communities see themselves and are perceived by others. The on-going conflict between heritage protection and development pressures has been exacerbated and continued post-earthquake.

Why is history and heritage and our buildings so important to us as a community?

Buildings are tangible milestones of our journey as a culture.

History, through our buildings, tells the story of our city’s past and progress. Of our settlers of many origins, and of the homes, businesses and places they built and created here.

Canterbury’s landscape is rich in historic places that are inseparable from our local and national cultural identities.  Historic places, wahi tapu, and the places of significance to our many peoples help us to remember, to learn, to belong and to share our stories with others.

Built heritage provides inspiration for artistic creativity, a foundation for tourism and economic development and a welcome for return travelers – how we feel when we come home from overseas to the comfort of known landmarks, and they become a beacon for who we are as New Zealanders.

Our heritage places are sentinels of living memory; and unlike the heritage of foreign soils, their uniqueness lies in the immediacy of the connection between us as descendants, and our ancestors. Disconnection from our past can give rise to a profound sense of dislocation. The question of identity can be raised and this relates right back to the stories that can be told. The enlightenment of the past through stories is a source of liberation.

The Canterbury Heritage Awards afford the opportunity to recognize heritage in all its forms and to tell the stories so important to us as a community and a culture.

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