Tuesday, November 12, 2013

That bach ....

Recently there has been some discussion on the merits (or otherwise) of preserving an old bach on foreshore reserve at Tapu Bay. I have removed the names of the writers, but here are the emails from property owners:-

******** has just updated me on the status of their family bach. He is 80 years old last week, so I'm sure he could do with some help to get his historic bach preserved.

He has been phoning me for some months, but he has been unable to pursue this effectively.

 Th current council plan he says is for it to be demolished by March 2014. I know many residents will be very sorry to see it demolished. I feel it should be preserved as a bit of Kiwi History.

John would like to gift it to the Historic Buildings Trust, or if that fails to the Tapu Bay Group?

It could be made into an open door museum. With photos of old local views and memorobilia of events from around the bay.

I'm hoping someone has time to help him get things underway. If we do nothing it will vanish.

To demolish the old Tapu Bay Bach would be to erase an important part of our local heritage
 We don't want new structures on the coastal reserve, but clinging to the edge of the foreshore this bach tells an important part of the story of recreation at the beach. The first baches were built with the farmers consent, but without selling the land. Over enthusiasm for the best spots meant some were built too close to the water, on land the farmer didn't own.
 This bach needs to be preserved because with its neighbour demolished and the other 2 from the Dummy Bay - Stephens Bay headland gone its the only part of this history left.
 We part own one of the few other original baches, one that also has never been upgraded, but ours is not on the foreshore.
 Back in the 1990's our architecture firm helped encourage Wellington City Council to adopt a policy that kept a similar cluster of 1930's baches on Wellington's rugged Southcoast - refer page 14, 15 & 16 of the attached WCC policy PDF (=pg numbers 48, 49 , 50)  I'm sure WCC heritage officers would be happy to advise TDC as to how to allow this.
 From my experience with how this works in practice (& you can read it in the Southcoast Management Plan attached) management and conservation is handled by eventually public ownership, possibly with a gifted lease to a club, which here could be the Stephens Bay  - Tapu Bay Group. Key to it has been available for "public use" which includes staying in them. The Wellington ones were listed as Historic in the WCC District Plan and with the Historic Places Trust.
Sorry all but I don't get it, it's a corrugated iron shack built illegally on a reserve. It has merit as an historic building.If its left in place there will obviously be a cost to maintain and I just bet that ratepayers will fund that and also if its left leads to precedents for others. My vote Bowl it over and put a picnic table in its place
 I am in agreement with **** , it will only cost ratepayers more money to look after it. 
Turn it into an area that we can all use to enjoy the beach front,( NOTE as the council has seen fit to plant the only flat grass area at that end of the beach) 
Would be nice if the family could clean up the area. The large pile of gorse they cut down and have left.
No, funnily enough it will cost money to turn this into real world public toilets, although the previous residents just used the beach, and again we
the residents will be expected to pay for this by way of yet another targeted rate no doubt
If the shack is that important to some then I am sure the present owners
will be only to happy to sell it to you and you then can arrange to shift
it to another suitable site at your own cost and invite Dame Kiri in for
an artist in residence stint
Bowl the damn thing and put a picnic table and bar b que in there which
seems to be the preferred option of most of the respondents so far and
rather than being the preserve of bludgers who never paid their share of
any rates burden will then be able to be used by all which is the intent
of reserve spaces
Interesting debate on the Bach. Yes it is just a shack, but that's New Zealands coastal history

I think *****  has some interesting points and suggestions.

An idea of mine is the following:- 

In order to save money on rates and maintanence the bach could be turned into the public toilets we require. This could be done at little extra cost. They are only 20metres or so from the pumping station.

If security is an issue it could be locked at night and someone local could have a key to open it, as the gate at Kaka Point is at Kaiteriteri.

Good on you ****  spot on.
As to the leaving of a tin shack in a reserve to prove the point that you
cannot now build tin shacks in reserves.......words escape me
Good to see a healthy community debate

Cost & Clean-up
Key to the Wellington model (that I attached to my earlier email) is that it formalises what the encroaching bach owners pay to the Council.
 They are required to maintain their buildings and to contribute to the nearby (Red Rocks) reserve maintenance. Their leasehold existence incurs an encroachment licence / lease fee annually and there has to be an availability for public use / hire. 
 The bach building can't be changed and it can't be sold on and profited from. If they or their family don't contribute, or keep up maintenance the deal's off, and that's where gifting it to a public club / group comes in. 
 Ratifying a lease would mean it would be very simple for TDC as landlord to require the gorse be shifted. As part of establishing a lease a koha to our community could even be that the Crammers fund a picnic table, or 2, for the reserve.
 Public use might mean the Bach sometimes host a Tapu Bay artist in residence who contributed to our local creativity and the tourist economy......
Historical Merit:
You are right it is a shack, and not necessarily a beautiful one.  But you will find plenty of historians and architects who disagree with you on the historical merit of simple Kiwi self built baches and cribs. They are often quirky, and usually small. Their over span use of slender native timbers and cheap found materials at low stud heights can't be repeated. Just as this one's location can't be.
 The key point about historical structures is they may not be grand but they are our history - their existence tells a story and once they are gone they are lost. Local stories are important in local places.
 Wellington's Red Rocks enclave preserved all the coastal reserve Baches, as did Taylor's Mistake in Christchurch, at Rangitoto Island they only realised once they'd begun demolishing baches that they were loosing a never to be repeated slice of Kiwiana and stepped in and preserved them.
This is our last foreshore one. 
Public Foreshore:
Even the mistake of building this humble little bach in the Queen's chain is actually important to preserve. It's the opposite of a precedent - with all of the others removed it serves as the lone reminder of how lucky we are that our country values and protects public beach front, regardless of what the landowner allowed when they first set about making money from their farmland.
 Land title and competent Local Authority enforcement mean this can not be repeated.
Interestingly the anomaly of this bach's location has lead me to have numerous discussions with foreign visitors as to how Kiwi beach fronts can't be privately owned. As we have witnessed recently the issue of new locals who think they own their adjoining coastal reserve is important to make a stand against. This little reminder is low key, and has been part of our landscape since before most of us came to Stephens Bay. With good display signage this offender could actually help educate people to look after our Stephens Bay - Tapu Bay coastal reserve.
I'm proud of the way NZ protects our foreshore for us all, I'm also proud of the way we sometimes look after our heritage for our grand children to see and talk about what used to be.
I think its great that our community is talking over local issues in this forum.
And I reckon a picnic table on the flat site of the recently demolished other foreshore bach (behind the knoll) would be great. 
That all sounds ready great, but for the past 23 years I have lived here, the family has not looked after their tin shed in any way. Even when the son and his family(two young boys) moved in and stayed for over a year (about 5 years ago) with no running water, power, or toilet and were ask to leave by the council a number of times, also they replaced the fireplace and chimney when it caught fire. It was a mess then and has remained one. Only recently it was painted a wonderful Sky Blue, laughing in the face of council who have stop home owners from painting their new homes the colour of their choose. 
I can not see they family helping or paying anything to the TDC for the upkeep of this TIN SHED.

The TDC will not even put a toilet at the Bay, so to have it turned into a holiday home for artist is a joke.
How about we put our effects into getting the road fixed, as I have heard through the grade vine that more Maori ovens were found on the land at Turners where the road is to go. 
PS. somewhere in my family tree I am related to the Krammers and the Drummonds who have the other bash, so don't send me a bill for any upkeep, I already pay enough rates for nothing.   
Interesting views!  I have mixed feelings about this bach-shack.  I’ve watched and listened to several submissions to TDC and DoC from similar bach owners on the Abel Tasman National Park foreshore and recently watched the latest (Gilberts bach at Tinline) being demolished before we planted trees all over that site, as part of our Abel Tasman Birdsong Trust programme.

Similar experience of preservation attempts for old tramping and hunting huts in the region tend to bring a group of enthusiastic folk together to raise funds and do a wonderful restoration job initially, but once completed and handed over for public use, no one does a jot of cleaning or maintenance.  Families might have the odd picnic lunch on a rainy day but in nice weather it’s better outdoors.  In winter it’s cold and miserable and I can’t see it being used at all.  Local yokels may break in to have a beer party or two but the resulting stacks of empty bottles and condoms would be someone else’s responsibility.  Community clean-ups attract diminishing numbers of volunteers until the hut is eventually demolished as a health or fire risk. 

Without TDC funding long-term (i.e. we ratepayers) or a Trust with both human and financial resources, this could quickly go the same way.  DoC definitely has no spare money to throw at it and I’m sure the Historic Places Trust wouldn’t look at it.   Without thousands spent on it, who would really use such a place in Tapu Bay anyway?

Nor am I for a toilet block placed there – loos are best placed further back in the bushes – not on a prime picnic site like this magic little area!  I tend to be with those who say bowl it and put a picnic table there....

I have not joined this debate - in the 1970s my father, a Stephens Bay resident and a Waimea County councillor said that a condition placed upon the developers of the area was the removal of the two illegal buildings. One of the buildings has been removed in the last 12 months but the other one remains. The developers have fully developed the area from Tapu Bay to Little Kaiteriteri.