Mu­ral pro­tected

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS -

It will take more than just a jack­ham­mer to re­move a piece of his­tory from the Khar­toum Place steps.

As Auck­land cel­e­brated In­ter­na­tional Women’s Day on March 8 flanked by the Women’s Suf­frage Me­mo­rial, the mu­ral’s longterm pro­tec­tion wasn’t far from ev­ery­one’s mind.

It was cre­ated in 1993 and the Na­tional Coun­cil of Women and the Zonta Club would like to see it listed as a her­itage site in the uni­tary plan.

Zonta Club of Auck­land’s In­ter­na­tional Women’s Day Com­mit­tee chair­woman San­dra Dudek is con­cerned about the po­ten­tial for the tiles to one day be moved.

‘‘For the last three years we have asked the coun­cil not to de­stroy the me­mo­rial. I am a tile­maker and I know that the only way to re­move tiles is with a jack­ham­mer.’’

But Auck­land mayor Len Brown is stand­ing by his com­mit­ment to the mu­ral.

‘‘We are not go­ing to wreck the tiles,’’ he says.

‘‘Ev­ery year we make the same com­mit­ment and it main­tains the same and you should ask for that com­mit­ment ev­ery year no mat­ter who’s in charge of this coun­cil.’’

Auck­land

Coun­cil voted unan­i­mously last year to sched­ule the me­mo­rial through the uni­tary plan.

Work to open up the Khar­toum Place space is ex­pected to be­gin in June with a de­sign which will keep the me­mo­rial in­tact.

In­ter­na­tional Women’s Day marks the eco­nomic, po­lit­i­cal and so­cial achieve­ments of women.

The day was first cel­e­brated in the early 1900s in the US and it is now an of­fi­cial hol­i­day in some coun­tries.

Ms Dudek says the me­mo­rial rep­re­sents not only one of the most sig­nif­i­cant events in New Zealand his­tory but one for women world­wide.

‘‘This square is not just an Auck­land me­mo­rial, it is not just a New Zealand me­mo­rial but it is an in­ter­na­tion­ally recog­nised me­mo­rial to those women who lob­bied for the right to vote.’’

Photo: JESS LEE

Stay­ing put: Zonta District gov­er­nor-elect Mau­reen Heine and Zonta Club of Auck­land’s In­ter­na­tional Women’s Day Com­mit­tee chair­woman San­dra Dudek at Khar­toum Place.

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