Civic trust chairman stands aside

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Oamaru Whitestone Civic Trust chairman Marcus Brown has stepped down from the role to pursue his new appointment as chief executive officer of a local enterprise.

Mr Brown has been a trustee for seven years and chairman for the past year.

He said he had enjoyed his time with the trust and the group had become much more business-orientated over the last few years.

“The challenge for them is to balance the traditional and colourful nature of the historic precinct whilst still being business savvy,” Mr Brown said. “They really have something special down there.”

In a press release, the trust acknowledged the depth and value of Mr Brown’s heritage background and said that “his extensive knowledge of heritage and property management would be missed from the board table”.

Mr Brown used to be a land agent for the national trust in the United Kingdom and was the property manager for Kingston Lacy, a mansion in the Dorset countryside which included an 8000 acre estate.

He said a highlight of being on the trust has been working with heritage co-ordinator, Faye Ormandy, who had been “incredible.”

Commenting on current issues facing the trust, Mr Brown said he was aware they had received an offer for the railway station that was ‘potentially acceptable.”

He said he believed there needed to be some form of vehicle restriction in the historic precinct and there had been a mixture of reponses to this from affected business owners.

“People need to be able to run viable businesses. They need to have access and this needs to be balanced with visitors having an uninterupted experience,” he said.

By LINDA MCCARTHY