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Restoration plans . . . The former Ohoka Gatekeeper’s Lodge is to be transferred to the Ohoka Domain and restored. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

By DAVID HILL

An Ohoka heritage building is set to be restored.

The former Ohoka Gatekeeper’s Lodge, a category-two listed building with Heritage New Zealand, is set to be transferred to the Ohoka Domain and restored.

Waimakariri district councillors approved a proposal at a meeting last week to take over ownership of the building at no cost.

Mayor David Ayers says he welcomes the decision.

“I think it’s good that one of our historic buildings is to survive and be placed on public land, with a local community group working to preserve it.

“While it needs quite a bit of work, it’s certainly restorable, which is good news for the district.”

The Ohoka Domain Advisory Group, a council-appointed committee, has got funding to pay for the move, as well as foundation costs, which will then allow restoration to begin. It is expected to take several years to complete.

Once restored, the advisory group and the wider community intends putting historical items on display inside.

The former gatekeeper’s lodge was originally at the Whites Rd end of the Ohoka estate, but was more recently moved to a property on Jacksons Rd, where it has since fallen into disrepair.

The community was consulted on the project as part of the recently completed Ohoka Domain Concept Plan, approved by the Oxford-Ohoka Community Board.

Cr Wendy Doody said she was pleased to support the motion for the council to take over the ownership, as the lodge is “very important for the Ohoka community”.

Cr Al Blackie asked whether the council would be responsible for the “ghost”, which allegedly still wanders the former lodge, but council community and recreation manager Craig Sargison said he did not have “that level of detail”.

Council staff will now produce a heads of agreement to be signed by the council and the advisory group.