Facing a threat of demolition is the derelict Ti Kouka House, circa 1865 home of Samuel de la Bere Barker (1848-1901) at 281 Cambridge Terrace near the Madras Street bridge.
Sam Barker, son of Dr Alfred Charles Barker; Surgeon aboard the Charlotte Jane and father of Christchurch photography, was the Librarian of the Supreme Court and a widely renowned Botanist.
The Lyttelton Times for 23 August 1902 stated "On the northern side of the Avon stretching along the bank from Madras Street to Manchester Street there is a garden filled exclusively with New Zealand plants. Its official name is Barkers Avenue." (view a satellite image of the house location).
A New Zealand Historic Places Trust spokesperson is reported in a Christchurch newspaper as saying that while both the Trust and Christchurch City Council staff work to conserve the city's built heritage, Christchurch lacks the automatic protection for old homes written into the city plans of Auckland and Wellington.
The spokesperson is also quoted as saying "Certainly, Christchurch is under resourced in terms of its ability to protect its heritage. We are losing quite an amount of our old dwellings, especially our timber ones."
Condensed from an article in The Press.
Statistics from the Ministry for the Environment suggest Christchurch has the highest number consents which are not notified or have limited notification of any New Zealand city – just 113 limited and notified consents out of 5,241 applications in the last four years.
This allows substantial developments to proceed with little or any reference to the community. City Council officers say this is allowable under the current town plan and that this is in turn based around the Resource Management Act.
This policy allows the community little chance for input into developments that may end up in the destruction of heritage buildings.
Labour’s Christchurch Central candidate Brendon Burns
Kiwi photographer Jake was born in Warsaw, Poland, a city that was almost 90% leveled to the ground during World War II. He says "We sure miss that heritage and the effect the loss has had on the city is profound. Here we seem to be doing something similar, just over a longer time and bit by bit... Christchurch is actually a disgrace when it comes to tearing down our old heritage and replacing it with junk .."