Date: 18 March 2009
A decision on the future of the Aniwaniwa Visitor Centre in Te Urewera National Park is on hold pending the outcome of Crown Treaty negotiations with Tuhoe according to Department of Conservation Acting Conservator, Mark Davies.
“The Crown is currently in negotiation with Tuhoe regarding possible future management options for Te Urewera National Park. The department does not want to pre-empt this process by making any decision on the current building. It is possible that this process could take a couple of years, but in the meantime, visitor services will continue to be delivered from the basement area of the current Visitor Centre,” Mr Davies said.
The upper floors of the Aniwaniwa Visitor Centre were closed in 2008 after a report indicated concern about the safety of that part of the building in the event of a major earthquake. The construction of the upper floors did not meet original specifications and subsequent water seepage resulted in rotten timbers and damage to internal linings. The report indicated serious structural deficiencies in the upper parts of the building.
Aniwaniwa Visitor Centre was designed by prominent architect, John Scott and constructed in the mid 1970s. The two-storey building has four different floor levels. The basement is constructed of reinforced concrete blocks with a concrete slab floor and reinforced concrete ceiling beams. This part of building was assessed as being sound and will continue to be used as a Visitor Centre until a decision is made on a more permanent solution.