This benefit reflects the diverse heritage and cultural values held by the people who make up New Zealand’s population. Cultural values can be closely intertwined with heritage values. Cultural values, including spiritual values, are a deeper experience of the place that transcends amenity associations and is distinct from commemorative associations.
Values associated with te ao Māori (the Māori world view) are strongly related to heritage and cultural values. Those values are discussed separately in benefit cluster 12. Changes in te ao Māori values.
Cultural values recognise New Zealand’s cultural diversity and mixed cultural beliefs. It includes the built environment (such as buildings of cultural importance) as well as values (the places, spaces and concepts of value).
For this benefit, cultural values are considered as both tangible and intangible benefits. Tangible benefits are more likely physically visible and may be expressed in monetary terms, and intangible values are more likely to be based on perceptions and not as easily expressed in monetary terms. The intrinsic value of cultural values is also included here, including the importance of the existence of places of cultural and heritage value.
Like cultural value, the historic environment is important for health and wellbeing, creating a strong sense of place, influencing how places are perceived, bringing people together, inspiring learning and understanding, and providing the context or means by which local people can take an active role in their local area – turning a place into a community. It also plays a role in urban development and in generating economic activity.
Land transport investment and programmes that may contribute to this benefit include any that impact on the places and spaces of heritage and cultural value and the ability of people to access them. The Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) requires historic heritage to be protected from ‘inappropriate subdivision, use and development’ (section 6(f)).
This benefit impacts on all New Zealanders who value places and spaces for cultural or heritage reasons.
Qualitative measurement of this benefit focuses on the following heritage and cultural features – amenity, spiritual/cultural, bequest, historic education, commemorative, associative, recreation, tourism, functional and economic.
11.1.1 Amenity value – natural and built environment*
11.1.2 Heritage and cultural values*
Measures marked * are qualitative.
For more information about these measures see Non-monetised benefits manual: qualitative and quantitative measures.