Heritage fans have a chance to put their money where their mouths are. A beautiful old rimu church is going for $1 reserve auction.
But it does have a few encumbrances.
If you buy it and keep it on-site, you couldn't use it without strengthening it to meet earthquake code - it's currently at 8% of code. And it's a Category 2 Heritage-listed building, so strengthening will not be cheap as you'd have to find a strengthening solution that makes the Historic Places Trust happy. If you keep it on-site, your final use, at seller's insistence, has to be not incompatible with Christian faith, so I suppose a brothel is out.
If you buy it and want to move it, you'd need to get a resource consent for moving it, and nobody knows how hard that would be given the heritage listing.
TradeMe says it's now sold for $11,100. I wonder if the buyer knows what's coming.
The Q&A on the listing is instructive. Some snippets below. Heritage New Zealand listings really should come with a standing option for the owner to sell the building, and all of its encumbrances, back to Heritage New Zealand, at a pre-set price.
This is a pretty sad case. But if an earthquake hit, it's unlikely that an empty church in a small town would kill people.
There are dozens of buildings in Wellington for which this is not true. The masonry facades will fall off the buildings, onto the street and sidewalk, and kill people. And nobody who made those buildings too hard to fix will face any liability whatsoever for the deaths they will have helped to cause.