By Kate Harrison EditorAuckland city council has a problem with one of its most prominent buildings: a heritage-listed building that once housed a former police station.
It was the Auckland Police Station, and it’s the one that’s been the focus of a campaign to save the building.
Auckland Council’s planning officer, David Hockett, has called the building “a symbol of our history” and wants it to be preserved.
Auckland City Council has received over 40,000 submissions about the building, which is located in the middle of the CBD.
The council is currently considering plans to save it.
Hockett says the council is looking at options for the building and is trying to reach an agreement with the building’s owners.
“The owners have agreed to take a loan of $50,000 and that’s the minimum amount of money that’s required to secure a sale,” he said.
“We’re working on the next step to get an agreement, and we’ll probably be able to get there.”
The Auckland Police House building has stood for nearly 50 years, and in that time, it has housed an army of officers who were sent to work in the city’s notorious police station in the 1970s.
The building was once the home of the Auckland City Fire Brigade, but after it closed in 1995, the police station was converted into a school, where students had to wear masks to protect themselves from the city-wide smog.
The building has also hosted a variety of events over the years.
One of the oldest and most iconic is the Auckland Festival of Books, which was held there in 2005.
There have been several occasions when the building has hosted a book fair and a book signing.
In 2019, a team of volunteers started a campaign called Save the Auckland Fire Brigade building, and they’re hoping that by saving the building they’ll raise the funds to buy it.
Campaigns like this are a way for councils to raise funds for the purchase of historic structures, and the Auckland Council says it wants to raise the same amount.
“I think it’s really important for people to understand the value of heritage,” Hockitt said.
“It’s important for us to make sure we preserve and protect these buildings in a way that is respectful to the past.”
The campaign is not the only one aiming to save this historic building.
The Auckland Bookshop is also looking to buy the building for $20,000.
Hocketts office is looking into other options, including the possibility of purchasing the building from the former owners and selling it to a museum.
More to come.