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Fears for loss of history as Kings Arms put up for sale

Alicia Burrow ,
Publish Date
Monday, 26 September 2016, 1:20p.m.
Neil Finn of Crowded House playing at the Kings Arms (Dean Purcell)

An historian believes the loss of a late 19th century pub in Auckland would be also be the loss of a piece of our treasured history.

The King's Arms Tavern has been listed for sale.

LISTEN ABOVE: Music legend Mike Chunn speaks to Larry Williams

Built when horses still trotted the streets, it has recently been re-zoned by Auckland Council as mixed use, so a buyer could use the land for residential or commercial purposes.

Both established and up-coming musicians are concerned it will be demolished and redeveloped into housing, and Auckland will lose a special part of its music culture.

Split Enz member and CEO of Play It Strange Mike Chunn said it's sad because there are limited places left for young artists to be discovered.

But historian Edward Bennett says more is at stake - it's the sole remaining example in Newton of the wooden Victorian buildings that used to cover Auckland hillsides, and one of just a few left in Auckland.

"If you look at old photographs there are thousands of small Victorian houses and a few little retail and factory buildings and sitting amongst them in the Kings Arms - everything else is gone"

He said for a historic property to be legally protected from being demolished the present owner must request Auckland Council schedule it with a historical tag.

Mr Bennett said if the building is to be sold for residential purposes he'd like to see the building's exterior kept intact.

ON AIR: Andrew Dickens Afternoons

12p.m. - 4p.m.