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Death of John Daniels, first chairman of Historic Places Wellington

News from Historic Places Wellington
It is with great sadness to report that John Daniels died on Monday night after a relatively short time with motor neurone disease.

John was the first Chairman of Historic Places Wellington when it was launched in 2012, and stepped down from the committee earlier this year.

John joined the Wellington Branch Committee of Historic Places Trust in 2011 in order to assist with the challenging task of changing that committee to a fully independent nongovernmental organisation as was required by the Government legislation, which was subsequently passed as Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Act 2014. John stepped down from the chairmanship after passage of the legislation but took over the job of Treasurer for the next two years.

As many will know, John’s career in heritage work has been a long and distinguished one. His early civil service career was mainly in the Department of Internal Affairs. Alongside his work, he was active in archaeology, joining the Wellington Archaeological Society and being the Site Recording Scheme central file keeper for some 14 years. He was also a Council Member of the NZ Archaeological Association and a member of the Onslow Historic Society.

In 1971 he was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Historic Places Trust (now Heritage New Zealand) and served in that capacity for 17 years, retiring in 1988. In retirement he did some contract work on heritage issues as well as voluntary work as a committee member and also chairman of the Friends of the Bolton Street Cemetery.

John’s wealth of experience in heritage work has been a huge asset for Historic Places Wellington and he will be greatly missed.

Our thoughts go out to his wife Jenny and family.

The funeral is on Saturday at 2pm at Old St Pauls, which is very appropriate given John’s involvement in saving this important heritage building.