Most of us are familiar with our iconically historic buildings – Pompallier, Christ Church, and the old Custom House – but we still have many other less historic buildings and sites that contribute significantly to our sense of history. Some of them are NZHPT registered, like the Baker family home and picket fence. Others are not, like the Moore cottage and Cavalli just around the corner. Did you know that Russell Primary school is registered as a Category II historic building? Or that the pomegranate tree, Punica granatum, on Baker St is listed as a notable tree? We have three separate heritage precincts with planning rules that differ from the rest of the village. But do we still care? Do we agree with and support the information set out in the council’s “nonstatutory document”, Russell Design Guidlelines? Or are they perceived as just another attempt to regulate us and make our lives more difficult? Signage for instance – “Visual impact should be gained by the use of interesting and finely crafted signs”. Do we believe this? Or are we succumbing to the apparent worldwide trend towards bigger, brighter and bolder? Check it out – google FNDC Russell Design Guidelines – and next time you walk your dog or go into the much photographed “General Store”, a FNDC scheduled building on The Strand for a newspaper, really look around. Take note. Are we being true to our heritage? Or are we merely capitalising on it and slowly destroying it?