The Landmarks Trust

The Landmarks Trust is an initiative between the community and Hastings District Council to promote the Hastings District’s image, identity and sense of place and to foster civic pride.

Look around and you’ll see so much that the Landmarks Trust has been involved with, including:

  • An upgrade of 100+ buildings in the centre of Hastings as part of the Façade Enhancement Scheme
  • Recognising and celebrating successful projects within the District at the annual Landmarks Awards
  • Entranceways into our region
  • Artworks
  • Colourful garden beds, street trees and hanging baskets
  • New cycling and walking initiatives

The Landmarks Trust also act as advocates for the community, saving precious community spaces from subdivision, preserving our heritage and areas of special character, lobbying and working with Council, plus much more... 

History of the Landmarks Trust 

Jeremy DwyerIn the 1980 - 90s, the Hastings District was reeling from an economic downturn, closed industries (especially two freezing works and Morrison Industries which were major employers) and a breaking down of the “old order” - all of which had a major effect on its people.

The late Jeremy Dwyer (pictured), Hastings mayor, had just been elected and inherited a dispirited and depressed environment. He was New Zealand’s youngest mayor at the time. Jeremy recognised the importance of our identity and heritage. He also saw a strong desire from the community to build on the strengths of the district in order to make it a better place to live, visit and do business in. With his driving optimism, in the late 1990s, he forged a path ahead – with both business and community forums, workshops and overseas experience to call on.

What resulted was the Landmarks philosophy: the community’s blueprint for a better future. A comprehensive Landmark’s Development Plan evolved which won a New Zealand Planning Institute Award in 2001. This Plan was in part guided by the largest public questionnaire ever conducted in the city. It details the aims and aspirations of Council in upholding the Landmarks philosophy to create a better environment for our citizens. It is regularly updated and provides a sound reference point.

Out of this renewed energy and vitality, the Hastings District Landmarks Trust was born. It was subsequently established as an incorporated society in 2000, with the Hastings District Council creating a Landmarks arm within Council (which later became the Landmarks Advisory Group).

The general purpose of the Trust is to guide Council in its development and implementation of Landmarks initiatives, and to promote Landmarks objectives and initiatives within the community.

Our philosophy

Four key areas drive the passion of the Landmarks Trust members:

  • Landscape
  • History
  • Architecture
  • Art in public places

Each category aims to implement the Landmarks philosophy of a better place to live in, enjoy and be proud of. 

We believe community input is vital and value the unique contribution Council makes in adopting the Landmarks’ philosophy. Each time we select a project, referencing our four key categories, we consider whether its final outcome can be improved through:

  • Strong public participation
  • Good design that pays attention to detail
  • Use of design themes and quality materials that are responsive to who we are and our communities’ journeys

Most Beautiful City

Landmarks celebrates Hastings winning the Keep New Zealand Beautiful Award for New Zealand's Most Beautiful City!

Huge congratulations to the District Council Team for their great planning and work over the years, supported by the Landmarks Trust and other caring organisations. Jeremy Dwyer will be smiling.

Lighting in the Central City - have you seen the Clock Tower with its stunning lighting? (Hastings' answer to Auckland's Sky Tower?) And the myriad of fairy lights in the trees surrounding the fountain? Just beautiful!

Landscape

Hanging basketsWe are blessed in this region with great natural features from the mountains to the sea, soil and climate: an abundance of the ingredients for the good life. Landmarks’ focus is to preserve and enhance our beautiful parks, streetscapes and public as well as private spaces for the enjoyment of all.

The Landmarks philosophy is at the forefront of a number of Council projects, supported and often initiated by the Landmarks Trust.

  • A major tree-planting programme throughout the streets and roads of the district. Themed planting also identifies important gateway/entrances within the region and in many cases reflects our horticultural strength, eg flowering cherry and olive trees
  • The maintenance and enhancement of historic and new parks and plantings, eg re-vamps of Flaxmere Park, the Havelock North Village Domain; the new William Nelson Park near the CBD for skateboarders and families, complete with playground and a statue of William Nelson and his dog. Opened 2013
  • The creation of “Pocket Parks” in town, eg Landmarks Square in Warren Street, opened in 2011
  • The saving of part of Windsor Park from being subdivided for housing, 2010
  • The creation of the Roy’s Hill Reserve – the restoration (since 2009), with native plantings, walkways and picnic areas on the old Landfill in the Gimblett Gravels region on State Highway 50 supported by business Sponsors, planted by Landmarks Trust volunteers and maintained by Council staff. The reserve was opened in 2012
  • Hanging baskets gloriously adorning our main centres throughout summer and now winter too
  • Preservation of the Renee Orchiston Flax Collection on the Longlands Road and other district roundabouts
  • The Frimley Rose Garden improvements
  • The creation of a Register of Notable Trees in our region for their protection
  • Upgrade of John Holt Memorial Display House, Cornwall Park – a glasshouse overflowing with tender plants and beautiful blooms
  • Duart Historic House grounds’ redevelopment in Havelock North
  • Recognition of good design and celebrating successful projects through the Landmarks Awards
  • Supporting the hugely successful iWay network of trails for cycling and walking throughout the region, promoting safety, good health – and fun!

History

The preservation of our district’s history is the foundation of our future. Passionate historians among our members spearhead the drive to retain the diverse elements of our history.

  • History Talks - The Landmarks Trust History Talks feature guest speakers with a diverse and fascinating range of topics: people, places and events from within the wider Hastings district. The talks are held upstairs in the Hastings War Memorial Library every second Tuesday of each month (except in December and January)
  • Stoneycroft Homestead and Gardens - an historic homestead, built around 1875, on the corner of the Expressway and Omahu Road, was purchased by Council in 2005, beautifully restored (much by volunteers) and opened in 2012. It now houses the Hawke’s Bay Knowledge Bank and Digital Archives Trust, unique in New Zealand. The extensive grounds contain large protected trees, 50 flowering cherry trees planted to mark 50 years of Hastings attaining city status and fine restored gardens
  • History and knowledge boards - throughout the region these graphic information boards add to the public appreciation of our heritage and sites of interest
  • Winner: Supreme Art Deco Award 2010 recognising “10 years of work to preserve, enhance and promote the heritage of the Hastings District”
  • Hastings CBD Heritage Inventory currently held by Council

Architecture

Hawke's Bay Opera House entranceThe Landmarks philosophy encourages the preservation of our architectural heritage and encourages the design of new buildings that raise the bar. Council is proactive in the promotion of this public face of our district while the Trust acts as an advocate for the Landmark’s philosophy.

  • The Facade Enhancement Scheme - administered by Council and championed by Landmarks, the scheme recognises heritage buildings in the Hastings District and works with building owners and tenants to upgrade the exterior of these buildings, including the use of appropriate colours schemes. Over 100 buildings within the Hastings city centre have been upgraded, making a huge visual difference to our city
  • Recognition of good design and celebrating successful projects through the Landmarks Awards
  • The designation of Special Character Areas of Hastings and Havelock North worthy of protection
  • Public forums convened by the Landmarks Trust held to discuss what works in our district and providing solutions for what doesn’t. Results are forwarded to Council and relevant bodies
  • Hastings CBD Architectural Heritage Design Guide published in graphic format to inspire the preservation and enhancement of heritage buildings. There is also a CBD Sign Guide for commercial signage on buildings

Art in public places 

Suntrap and Leaf LightsArt adds that “special factor” to our district, reflecting who we are and uplifting the spirit. Using outstanding local (mostly) artists to guide and create new work, the Landmarks Trust, along  with Council, has overseen a wide range of works to inspire and admire in our public places.

Everywhere you look in the district there's art: from David Trubridge's “Leaf Lights” to Neil Dawson's “Suntrap” to mana whenua carvings.

Council funds, grants and donations have afforded these works. The artistic community in the Hastings district is talented and diverse, recognised both nationally and internationally – or just “locals” expressing their “love of place “. 

Throughout the Hastings CBD, Havelock North Village and selected sites (eg Karamu High School and William Nelson Park) there are stunning sculptures, statues, murals and architectural works (eg street lights and water features). These are now an integral part of any redevelopment plan within the district – the icing on the cake

  • Nga pou o Heretaunga in Civic Square, Hastings – an awe-inspiring collection of 18 large, locally-carved pou (totems), completed in 2013, to represent the 18 local iwi and each facing toward the location of the home marae. A must-visit!
  • Gateways – a sense-of-arrival is announced at designated gateways / entries to our district through the installation of artistic works, each pertinent to its named location
  • School murals programmes have enlivened campuses and fostered creativity in our young people
  • Recognition of good design and celebrating successful projects through the Landmarks Awards

Landmarks Trust events and activities 

2015 Landmarks Trust Awards

Landmarks celebrated outstanding projects and contributions to the Hastings District at the Landmarks Trust Awards ceremony held on December 5th, with the Mayor, Lawrence Yule, presenting framed certificates to those recognised. 
A wealth of talent and commitment has ensured our four tenants of History, Landscape, Architecture and Public Art are alive and well.
Here's what one of the guests at the Awards ceremony commented:

We were simply blown away by the amount of dedication and hard work that gets done very quietly throughout out District and in lots of different areas.  However, all the results are incredible and this hard work has its own fruits in that Hastings and her surrounds is really looking lovely.  Its down to the energy and extraordinary vision of your team that this work continues and its really heartening. 

Please pass on to your team how much we thoroughly enjoyed being part of such a special occasion and we feel truly humbled and proud to live in this marvellous place.    

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD

​Landmarks History Talks

Held the second Tuesday of each month (except in December and January), in the Hastings War Memorial Library. Hear interesting stories of the Hastings District told by great Speakers. 5.30pm – 6.30pm.

Plans and strategies

Landmarks has produced a number of plans and strategies guiding and informing our the Hastings District should look and feel. These are:

Related societies

Become a Landmarks Trust member

Landmarks Trust members come from all walks of life and cultures, linked by one thing – the desire to contribute to creating a better city and district. For a small annual membership fee you, your business, club or organisation can join.

To become a member of the Landmarks Trust email us

Landmarks Advisory Group

The Landmarks Advisory Group is a subcommittee of the Hastings District Council. It is made up of five Councillors and four Landmarks Trust members. The advisory group meets quarterly with the Landmarks Trust holding their meetings a week prior to discuss their community focussed and generated topics.

Reports on Council projects or applications that have the potential to impact on the look and feel of the District are taken to the advisory group with their recommendations and then referred back to Council for ratification or information purposes.

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Contact us

If you're on Facebook, like our Keep Hastings Beautiful page where we share our many Facade Enhancement projects, street and park clean ups. 

Contact us on phone +64 6 871 5000 or email council@hdc.govt.nz