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Last week we held our 2021 AGM (Wednesday 30 June) and Visions talk at the Dunedin Public Library. It was a well attended event with almost 80 people in attendance, no doubt being interested in Sean Brosnahan's (of ToiTu Otago Settlers Museum) impressive talk on 'Looking Back: Making and Remaking Dunedin.'

AGM: We were sorry to farewell Merrin Bath as our most able and hard working Chair and welcomed long serving and experienced heritage Trust member Jo Galer to the Chair. Thank you Jo for stepping up.

Merrin expanded on her annual report acknowledging the many visits members were able to participate in organised by Ann Barsby and Joy Baker, the financials presented ready for the meeting by our new treasurer, Lisa Davis.

Within the report, Lox Kellos kept us informed of the many upgrades and restorations of all things to do with war memorials, historic sites etc., and Brent Lovelock who is willing and able with applications and submissions.

Ann Barsby continues to fight the good fight with her extensive knowledge and passion for the heritage of Dunedin.

The annual report is available below and can be read in full. We have also posted on our facebook page some video clips, a brief offering of our speaker Sean Brosnahan, curator of ToiTu Otago Settlers Museum. Sean's amazing address in which he reminded us how quickly the beautiful streetscapes can be lost. Thank you Sean for a riveting and compassionate presentation showing well researched information and photographs. We are so lucky to have access to your wealth of knowledge and your willingness to share so ably and freely to our people.

Also, last but not least, thank you to Kay Mercer from the Dunedin Library who works in tandem with us for the venue and advertising, plus the SHT members and members of the public who attend these monthly talks. If not a member, we do NEED you. You can join via our website on our Join Us page or please contact Ann Barsby to find out more

Tel: 03 479 0169 or


SHT Annual Report 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021 – AGM Held Wednesday 30 June 2021

1. General

The Trust has continued to deliver a number of key events for our members and the public – following on from the initial COVID-19 delays around our activities of which our Lawson Lecture (was postponed), the DCC Heritage Awards (rescheduled to October 2020) and the ever-popular Visions for Dunedin series of talks, our Otago Access Radio Heritage Matters programme and we are continuing to advocate for the protection of our Dunedin and Otago heritage on a number of fronts.

This year we have worked hard to generate submissions to council on the variation to the 2nd Generation District Plan, advocated for the protection and retention of the Arthur Street Infants School building and also been active in trying to prevent the demolition of the Scribes Building on Great King Street. In all of our activities, as always, we have been ably supported by our members and by volunteers – a special thanks you to all for your ongoing support of the Trust and for our heritage.

2. The Trustees

Our Trustees over the year have been busy on a number of fronts. Current Trustees are founder member Ann Barsby, Jo Galer, Brent Lovelock, Merrin Bath (Chair), Joy Baker, Lox Kellas and we welcome Lisa Davis as a new Trustee and our Treasurer.

Merrin will be stepping down as Chair and Trustee going forward. We welcome anyone who is interested in assisting the Trust from an events management background, social media gurus or general administration support or any other voluntary support is welcome.

Janet Yiakmas stepped down as Trustee during the year and we thank Janet for her support. It was with much sadness that we farewelled Geoff Bellamy in March. Geoff was a Trustee from 2011 to 2019 and his contribution in maintaining meticulous minutes of the Trust’s meetings, and organising our annual David Cox Memorial Award was integral to our contribution as a Trust in our role of protecting and advocating for the use of historic buildings and structures in Otago.

3. Major Events

(i) AGM 2020. Our AGM took place on 21 July 2020, in the City Library, followed by a very well attended presentation by speaker Lawrie Forbes, ZealSteel, “What would I do if I had four million dollars: The Dunedin Athenaeum & Mechanics Institute Building”. Lawrie also provided members with a guided tour of the Athenaeum the following Sunday – which was very well received and much appreciated by members.

(ii) The DCC Heritage Awards 2020, of which our very own heritage advocate, Ann Barsby QSM won recognition as the joint recipient of the Pam Jordon Services to Heritage Award along with Dr Jill Hamel, was held at ToiTu Settlers Museum. Congratulations Ann.

(iii) Burns Supper at ToiTu and the Otago Anniversary Day Dinner at the historic Dunedin Club, provided Southern Heritage members with a table at each dinner. Both occasions were marked with brilliant speakers with the Otago Anniversary Dinner guests enjoying an excellent and interesting talk from Nicky Page, the Director of the City of Literature touching on what it means for Dunedin literary people to be part of this prestigious world-wide group. We are indeed privileged to have such auspicious occasions annually to mark our heritage and history.

(iv) Visions for Dunedin: our Heritage, our Future. The Trust continued the very successful series of monthly talks in partnership with the City Library by invited speakers on a diverse range of topics including: Putting your best face forward: Philip Davis and the significance of architectural style in Dunedin, Speaker: Jeremy Moyle; Jonathan Howard on photographer William Meluish - Dunedin’s spectacular growth in the 1860s; Integrating Heritage into a Central City for the future – Dr Glen Hazelton; Designing Streets for People Glen spoke of his new project since returning to Dunedin. Glen is leading our implementation of the DCC’s Central City Plan. He is suggesting some of the ideas that have been successfully used elsewhere for incorporating heritage in what has been termed as a once in a generational opportunity to upgrade and reflect changing needs and desires of an increasing diverse population.

Designing Streets for People – speaker Skye Duncan: Skye, originally from Dunedin and is now based in New York designing streets for people in many cities and towns throughout the world. Skye offered us some amazing possibilities for Dunedin by showing us what has been achieved elsewhere, utilising the natural surroundings and allowing active and passive areas to work alongside each other.

Blowing up Boundaries (Bell Hill) presented by Sarah Gallagher, Heritage Assessment Adviser for Heritage NZ Pouhere Taonga and Susan Irvine, Senior Consultant with Heritage Properties; Sarah and Susan impressed on us all that the undertaking of Bell Hill removal back in that time was a truly incredible and remarkable feat. It was a matter of having a mountain in the way so let’s remove it! Our monthly talks have continued to gain good numbers of interested members and also members of the public, thanks to the partnership with the Library’s mailouts, website and in-library event advertising. Thank you to Kay and her team. We look forward to tonight’s speaker, Sean Brosnahan, TOSM Curator, “Looking Back: Making and Remaking Dunedin."

(v) Lawson Lecture - Postponed due to Covid19

(v) Member Events - A range of well attended events were run over the year, including:

15 Scotland St house tour followed by afternoon tea in Ann and John Barsby’s gracious home in Royal Terrace. The Empire Building’s three beautiful apartments and Wains Hotel upgrade while acknowledging it’s heritage and history with an amazing series of early photographs and documents; Standard Building and Ted and Ita Daniel’s stunning new apartment overlooking Queen’s Gardens; Bishops Grove with Christine Farry graciously opening her home; the restored Larnach Tomb with Peter MacKenzie sharing the extensive insight into the restoration of this magnificent heritage feature of the Northern Cemetery; Fletcher Lodge where Ewa opened up their wonderful home to members for a private tour; Larnach Farm and Hooper Inlet led by our own member, Gregor Campbell who shared so much knowledge of the history and heritage on the Otago Peninsula. Gregor also gave members a tour of specific graves in the Andersons Bay Cemetery sharing some amazing stories which brought names to life. His tour was named, "A Library-Stories Set in Stone.” Selwyn College, including the church, All Saints, along with a delicious lunch, 387 High Street grand mansion residence, another open home for members to explore before its sale.

Anzac Day Northern Cemetery Tour and a popular end of year members’ event was held jointly with the Gasworks Museum. Many members also took advantage of the amazing Historic Homes of the Taieri tour put on by the Taieri Rotary Club.

(vii) Heritage Festival – we are pleased to announce our bi-ennial festival will run this year from 19 – 21 November 2021. We are in the midst of planning the festival and welcome support from anyone interested in helping plan or deliver festival events. We were thrilled to receive funding from the DCC’s Community Event Grant which will help us to deliver the festival.

4. Heritage Advocacy

The Trust continues to advocate for heritage protection in a number of ways, for example through submissions on relevant resource planning and heritage issues. We have been active in continued discussions involving the variation to the revised Dunedin District Plan ‘2GP and several challenges such as partial demolition of the Scribes Building, Donaghys Rope Walk and the Arthur Street Infant School building.

We continue to work with other ‘sister’ heritage organisations such as the Dunedin Gasworks Museum Trust. And as well as our programme of public events, other ways that we advocate for heritage include making a submission for the successful inclusion of the Sew Hoy Building (Former), 29 Stafford Street, DUNEDIN for entry on the New Zealand Heritage List/Rārangi Kōrero (‘the List’). The List No. is 9730 and the Trust also support the successful including of Dunedin Corduroy Causeway being relocated back into Wall Street Mall.

We also recently submitted on the Dunedin City Council 10-year plan, and the Council’s Dunedin Destination Plan highlighting the need for not only the protection of our heritage assets and the future zoning rules which need to take into consideration our character contributing buildings but also the economic contribution our heritage can make to our city.

A big thank you to Jo Galer for her hard work in preparing our submissions.

(ii) Dunedin Heritage Fund

The Trust has a sitting member (Jo Galer) on the Dunedin Heritage Fund, which is jointly administered by the Dunedin City Council and Heritage New Zealand. The Fund provides grants to support the protection and conservation of Dunedin’s built heritage, as well as the continued use and appreciation of these places by the community and is chaired by Councillor Sophie Barker.

(iii) ‘Heritage Matters’ Otago Access Radio. The Trust is truly proud of this wonderful programme in which veteran broadcasters Dougal Stevenson, Bill Southworth, Jane Edwards, Judy Southworth, Ann Barrowclough, Richard Stedman and Gregor Campbell explore the wonderful stock of historic buildings, and stories of early Maori life and European settlement in Dunedin and Otago. Our thanks for generous sponsorship by Ryman Heathcare. Broadcast every second Monday @ 12pm. Replayed the following Sunday @ 7pm. You can listen online at

(iv) Facebook and Website

The Trust has been working on a new website which is now live – (a big thank you to Alix and Richard from Outreach) and will enable members to join on-line and be kept up to date with events and news on Trust activities. We have been also updating our Facebook page on a more regular basis. We also sent out a detailed newsletter (online) in October to members and plan to do more of these going forward to keep our members up to date with our news.

Associated with this is a redesign of our logo and translation of our tagline ‘Past Present Future’ into te reo Māori:O Muri Onāianei O Mua.

5. Donaghy’s Ropewalk. This is the only known rope walk of its kind in New Zealand, if not in the Southern Hemisphere. The Trust saved and now owns the machinery in this 1878 building, which was kindly donated by the previous owners, Donaghy’s. We are still working on this project including Pouhere Taonga Heritage New Zealand and the Dunedin City Council to assure the future of this site.

6. Braemar St Cottage. The Gasworks Museum will be the site for relocation of this historic cottage for a permanent home. Negotiations are in still in the pipeline for the relocation of the cottage to the Gasworks Museum, also planning restoration and costs.

7. Dunedin Northern Cemetery and Sexton’s Cottage

The cemetery has had the usual group and individual visitors and we are yet again indebted to Richard Hercus, who manned the Sexton's Cottage throughout the year.

8. TSS Earnslaw Information Panel:

NZ Engineering recently replaced the information panel located near the Railway Station that the SHT supported back in 2012. The interpretation panel is about the engineering workshop on this site where the TSS Earnslaw was built here in Dunedin.

9. Membership: The current paid-up membership of the Trust is 133 paid members with single (51) and double (41) memberships for our year of 01/20 to 12/20 with five complimentary members. As always, we encourage members to invite their friends and colleagues to join. Membership is an annual fee of $30 a single and $50 for a double membership.

10. Military Heritage

Our Trustee Lox Kellas is involved in a number of projects linked to military heritage that the Trust is keen to support and Lox provides regular updates to the Trust. Upper Junction project will soon come to fruition which commemorates the lives of those lost during WW1, by refurbishing the whole memorial site. The Cenotaph (Queens Gardens) refurbishment will be completed by end of July or earlier. The Boer War memorial at the Oval has been completed.

Harrington Point (is a historic battery site to be refurbished in partnership with the land owners). More restoration work been undertaken at Northern Cemetery by voluteer Peter Trevathan military historian and the NZRA. (New Zealand Remembrance Army).

11. Acknowledgements

We thank all Trustees, members and volunteers for their ongoing work in preserving our heritage. We are most grateful for grants, donations, sponsorship and valuable assistance from collaboration with many organisations and individuals.

Merrin Bath


21 June 2021


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