WWI me­mo­rial back on track

Auckland City Harbour News - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - CATRIN OWEN

Auck­land mayor Phil Goff has stepped in to over­see the con­struc­tion of a WWI me­mo­rial af­ter the project nearly fell over.

The me­mo­rial was set to be built in the Auck­land Do­main in time for the cen­te­nary of the end of the Great War in Novem­ber 2018.

The es­ti­mated $3 mil­lion me­mo­rial was ap­proved in 2015 but was plagued by fund­ing short­falls, de­sign­ers walk­ing off the job and changes in de­sign.

Coun­cil’s Auck­land Do­main Com­mit­tee chaired by coun­cil­lor Mike Lee was re­spon­si­ble for over­see­ing the project.

Last month Goff stepped in to take charge af­ter de­sign­ers walked off the job.

The project was in jeop­ardy of not be­ing com­pleted be­cause of is­sues with project gov­er­nance, Goff said.

At Auck­land Coun­cil’s gov­ern­ing body meet­ing on Thurs­day Goff urged coun­cil­lors to go back to the orig­i­nal de­sign and asked for a May­oral Ad­vi­sory Group to be es­tab­lished.

The de­sign con­cept dubbed Te Takuahi, or the Hearth, was a col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween artist Ross He­mera and New Zealand firm Wraight Ath­field Land­scape and Ar­chi­tec­ture.

Lee had led the project since Oc­to­ber 2014, and in Fe­bru­ary 2016 told Stuff the de­sign failed to meet a num­ber of the orig­i­nal brief spec­i­fi­ca­tions.

Goff has now taken the project off the Do­main Com­mit­tee.

Lee said it had been a ‘‘very un­pleas­ant ex­pe­ri­ence’’.

‘‘The whole thing is a dis­grace re­ally,’’ Lee said.

‘‘The rights of my com­mit­tee has been tram­pled on and the rights of Auck­lan­ders to have a say too.’’

The de­sign­ers walked off the project af­ter the Do­main Com­mit­tee changed the de­sign.

Lee wanted a path­way up a grass hill to cre­ate a link within the Auck­land War Me­mo­rial Mu­seum area.

The com­mit­tee also wanted the project to be ‘no­ti­fied’, or open to pub­lic sub­mis­sions.

The orig­i­nal de­sign­ers were reap­pointed.

One of the de­sign­ers Jon Ren­nie said the team would be in­ter­est­ing in be­ing in­volved in re­la­tion to the orig­i­nal de­sign they submitted.

‘‘We wel­come the op­por­tu­nity to re-com­mence the de­sign de­vel­op­ment and de­liv­ery of this sig­nif­i­cant and mean­ing­ful project,’’ he said.

PHIL WAL­TERS/STUFF

The Auck­land War Me­mo­rial Mu­seum will sit above the pro­posed WWI me­mo­rial.

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