Growth of Interest
The European history of New Zealand is very short when measured in terms of time, but it has been a momentous period in the history of the human race. It encompassed the “industrial revolution” which changed completely the social pattern from a rural to an urban one, and it witnessed the birth of the scientific age which has revolutionised transportation and the manner of living. In this short span of 120 years New Zeland has developed from a primitive distant colony into a nation in its own right. It is, in fact, the product of this revolutionary period, and the record of its progress in terms of historic buildings assumes an importance quite disproportionate to their age. Fortunately public interest has grown rapidly in recent years, stimulated, no doubt, by the late Lord Bledisloe's gift to the nation of the Waitangi estate and by the centennial celebrations of many districts. The State has established a National Historic Places Trust which is actively recording, marking, or preserving sites and buildings of national importance. Many local authorities, aided by private societies, are preserving the visual record of their own districts, and some private owners of historic buildings are preserving them with or without national or local body aid.