Letters: The built legacy that we leave our children

Saturday November 09, 2019 Published in Letters to the Editor
19110835 Quote: “There used to be a lovely convention here in Rarotonga, that no building or structure was allowed to be built higher than a coconut tree.” 19110835 Quote: “There used to be a lovely convention here in Rarotonga, that no building or structure was allowed to be built higher than a coconut tree.”

Kia orana editor,

There used to be a lovely convention here in Rarotonga, that no building or structure was allowed to be built higher than a coconut tree.

 

I believe that this longstanding convention not only dealt with height of a structure, but by implication any building should blend in and be part of our magnificent landscape.  

It should look like it belongs in this tropical environment.

Recently travelling through Matavera, I came across a building, a motel I believe, built on the beach right next to Tropical Sands.

Not only does this new building look totally out of place, it encroaches in a most overbearing way onto the motel next door.

Tropical Sands was originally built by Cook islanders, and they managed to make it blend in with the surroundings … it looked as if it belonged.

All this new edifice manages to do is to offer the next door motel a series of walls, which the Tropical Sands owners have obviously tried, no doubt at their considerable cost, to hide from the view of their guests.

How this new developer was allowed to have this design approved is somewhat puzzling, as I presume there must be some sort of building and design Standards here in Rarotonga that dictate how much a new structure can impinge on their neighbours. … both physically, and aesthetically. 

In this case the new development does nothing to enhance the beauty of the Matavera coastal area.  

In my opinion, it is most regrettable that the various approving Authorities along the line did not take into account how such a design would impact on the immediate neighbours, and indeed on the surroundings as a whole.

A proper Environmental Impact Assessment should have included what sort of impact, including visual, such a new structure would have on the surrounding landscape.

There have been many changes in Rarotonga over the years, especially since Tourism has developed into the force that it is.

And we must be wary that the inheritance and legacy we leave for our children and our mokopuna should still be part of the beautiful Island that the next generations can continue to be proud of.

Andy Olah

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