Govt heritage fight snub - Christchurch Star, 9/4/14

Govt heritage fight snub – Christchurch Star, 9/4/14

I had been wondering where the Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage had been through all the destruction in Christchurch. Turns out he’s just “too busy”. I was trying to remember when I had last seen him say anything about Heritage in the city – but instead of relying on my dodgy memory, I checked the releases from his Ministry. In the 3 years since the quake, Finlayson has issued three Ministerial releases about heritage – two of which are about the Airforce Museum in Wigram. There have also been two official press releases from the Ministry – neither of which feature a quote from the Minister himself.

The guy has clearly been busy. In the same time, he has released no fewer than 8 statements about the National War Memorial. He stopped to announce the Avatar films, and congratulate Bret McKenzie, Top of the Lake and Peter Jackson.

There is no question that the state of many of the heritage buildings in the city in 2010 meant that a significant number of them would have to be pulled down due to the quakes. However, Finlayson has been the Minister of Heritage in a government that has facilitated the greatest heritage destruction in New Zealand’s history, and during that time has made more press releases about Hollywood than he has about heritage. That’s not because he’s too busy, but because he – and the government he is proud to be a part of – simply don’t care that our rich cultural history is being being wiped out at the end of a wrecking ball. Welcome to the #goldenage.