Hauraki Herald, 1 May 2008
Lots of history in the Coromandel to value
By SALLY GIBBS
By Mathew Grocott
Heritage is about more than just bricks and mortar, a Thames Coromandel District Council committee was told this week.
Dr Ann McEwan is working on the district plan heritage review, [in] an attempt to identify and protect heritage sites in the district.
Dr McEwan told the policy and planning committee it was important to know the area’s story. That is what Dr McEwan is discovering while preparing a report for the council on the district’s heritage. The report will identify places of importance.
"There’s an intense amount of community interest in heritage," Dr McEwan said.
By fostering this interest the community can come to care about historical places.
"If you get people interested in a story about a building they might not want to bugger it (the building) up," Dr McEwan said.
So far only buildings in Thames and Coromandel are protected in the district plan.
"It would appear there is no heritage on the eastern Coromandel – that is not the case," Dr McEwan said. She has started her work by developing a broad history of the district and will later focus on individual people, places and buildings.
"The idea with this project is to think about the history of the Coromandel," she said.
"The earliest days of human settlement took place on the eastern coast of the Coromandel." Since then there had been the landing of Captain Cook in Mercury Bay, the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in Coromandel Harbour and Mercury Bay, gold mining, kauri logging and the development of the district as a holiday destination.
Identifying the district’s heritage will have benefits to[o] for the tourism sector.
"The economic benefits are undeniable," Dr McEwan said.
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