Heritage Heritage Indicators (what we measure)


Firth Tower, MatamataHeritage refers to things of historic value, including buildings, possessions, and culture that have been passed on to us by previous generations. There are a number of sites in the district that contain heritage values including:

  • The Te Aroha Character Area, which is a unique array of historic buildings and places.
  • Historic buildings and places that are registered under the Historic Places Trust Register and within the District Plan.
  • Archaeological sites that contain features such as middens and pa sites.
  • Culturally significant sites, including pa sites, urupa (burial site), and marae.

Our Situation

Development in the district can result in pressure to inappropriately use and develop heritage and cultural sites. The Te Aroha Character Area has a special zoning to protect its unique buildings and places. From 2006/07 to 2015/16, 12 resource consents have been applied for (and granted) to substantially modify scheduled buildings in the Te Aroha Character Area. These have mainly related to altering the appearance of buildings by the addition of signage or decks.

In 2010/11 the only consent granted for modification was for alterations and repairs to the Band Rotunda in the Te Aroha Domain. The visual appearance of the Band Rotunda was not affected, and the New Zealand Historic Places Trust considered that the improvements to ensure the band rotunda would be safe for public use would also increase its heritage value, as a place of assembly.

In 2012/13 two consents were granted. Extensions were made to the Te Aroha fire station. This was granted with the effects being considered minor given that the original building was still the main view from the street frontage, with the additions being recessed from the main building, and given that the upgrade allowed for its continued use as a fire station. The Te Aroha Masonic Lodge was rebuilt for use as a veterinary clinic. This included demolition of the building, which was in disrepair, apart from the floor, and reconstruction using the original bricks, and replica stucco detailing, and wooden framed doors and windows. The form, materials and detailing of the building were reinstated, and therefore the effect on the Te Aroha area was considered limited. One consent was granted in 2013/14 to refurbish an existing retail facility within the Te Aroha Character Area while one consent was granted in 2014/15 to erect a workshop in the Te Aroha Character area on Rewi Street. No consents were granted in 2014/15 or 2015/16.

Two consents were granted in the 2006/07 year to develop structures in the Character Area. One structure was a covered outdoor area for a hotel and the other was a garage. There were no consents granted to construct new buildings within the Te Aroha Character Area between 2007/08 and 2015/16.

Since 2006/07, two resource consents have been granted to modify listed heritage features outside the Te Aroha Character Area. The most recent consent application was granted in 2013/14. It was an extension of time for a resource consent first granted in 2008/09. This was for the removal of the Thames Valley Power Board building in Matamata. Council worked through conditions for this consent with the Matamata Historical Society and a condition was imposed requiring that if the building is removed then a monument be built in its place.



Number of resource consents granted to modify

listed heritage features outside Te Aroha Character Area

06/07 07/08 08/09 09/10 10/11 11/12 12/13 13/14 14/15 15/16
Number of consents granted 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0

The number of resource consents applied for and granted involving sites that contain or adjoin a known culturally significant site has been very low. Between 2006/07 and 2010/11, only one application was made and granted.  In 2011/12, there was one application involving the relocation of the Horahora Historical Power Pylon to the Firth Tower Reserve, and also an upgrade of buildings at the Rukumoana Marae. In 2012/13 there was an application to construct a new wharenui meeting house to replace an existing building at Raungaiti Marae in Waharoa. There was also an application to quarry adjacent to the Ongatiti Ignimbrite Bluffs, which were found to be unaffected by the proposal. There have been no consents applied for affecting or adjacent to culturally significant sites since 2012/13.


Number of resource consents applications involving sites

that adjoin or contain a culturally significant site

05/06 06/07 07/08 08/09 09/10 10/11 11/12 12/13 13/14 14/15 15/16 
Number of Applications 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 2 0 0  0

There are 88 listed heritage features in the Matamata-Piako District Plan. These include historic buildings such as churches and commercial buildings, as well as monuments, geological formations, and landing sites.

In the 2010/11 year the Te Aroha Power House was added to the heritage schedule. Electric current was provided to the Te Aroha Borough in 1906 through this facility, making the borough the first local body in the Thames Valley to provide this amenity. Water was taken from the Tunakohoia and Omahu Streams, stored in a reservoir above Hamilton Street, and then delivered by pipeline to the power house. The plant became a standby electricity source in 1923 after power from the Arapuni Hydro Dam became available. The listing in the district plan schedule was in response to a 2006 request from the community that the Power House, water reservoir and the Tunakohoia Pipeline at the Hamilton Street site be protected.

There are 78 other culturally significant sites in the district including urupa (Maori burial site), pa and midden sites, and marae. One of these culturally significant sites (a pa site) was added to the District Plan in the 2006/07 financial year after a plan change was undertaken.

The 2013 Waikato Regional Perception Survey found that 76 per cent of respondents in the Matamata-Piako District were satisfied with the ‘unique or special character of your town’. This has increased from 74 per cent satisfaction in the 2010 survey.