Heritage funds for Howden House

Publish Date : 26 Mar 2024

I think that I shall never see, a poem lovely as a tree.

So wrote poet Joyce Kilmer more than a century ago, and Auckland Council’s Regional Historic Heritage Grants Programme is providing $16,000 to ensure notable trees at Howden House in Waiuku inspire future generations.

The collection of trees includes oaks, common beech, plane, ironwood and tulip trees, all already protected notable trees under the Unitary Plan.

Franklin Local Board Waiuku subdivision member Sharlene Druyven says it’s great news the money will fund work to prop and trim trees that have been part of Waiuku for generations.

“Most of us probably know Howden House as ‘The Hill’. It’s been a landmark since it was built in the early 1900s. The trees on the grounds help make the property what it is, and ensuring they survive and thrive is a great use of heritage funds.

“It’s impossible to imagine The Hill without those trees.”

Franklin Ward Councillor Andy Baker says heritage and history is more than bricks and mortar.

“We might not be talking a fine old building, but we are talking beautiful trees we all enjoy, and which are one of the reasons the property is grand.”

The five-bedroom home sits on the main road leading into town and was built for Dr Ernest Howden when Waiuku was a remote, rural outpost to replace an earlier homestead that burned down.

It remained the family home when Ernest's son Peter, also a doctor, lived in it until his death in 2003 aged 91.

The Waikuku funding is just one of 27 grants totalling $515,600 made to protect the city’s precious historic assets.

The Regional Historic Heritage Grants Programme aims to promote best practice and encourage community involvement in the care of regionally significant heritage places.

Planning, Environment and Parks Committee chair Councillor Richard Hills says preserving heritage places is vital to the identity and diversity of Tāmaki Makaurau.

“The grants enable recipients to improve and future-proof these taonga for generations to come.”

Applicants for the 2024/2025 Regional Historic Heritage Grant open later this year and will  be advised on the Auckland Council website. A list of grants is here.

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