Hope for new gar­den

Central Leader - - NEWS - By EMMA WHIT­TAKER

Sup­port­ers of Auck­land Zoo’s de­mol­ished Ja­panese friend­ship gar­den have some as­sur­ance it will be re­in­stated.

The gar­den was built in 1989 in recog­ni­tion of Auck­land’s sis­ter city re­la­tion­ship with Fukuoka city and was re­moved this month to make way for a Tas­ma­nian Devil de­vel­op­ment.

Auck­land Coun­cil con­sulted with Fukuoka city last year and was given the go-ahead to re­move it.

Af­ter a pub­lic outcry op­pos­ing the re­moval the coun­cil’s parks, recre­ation and sports com­mit­tee on Jan­uary 30 said it will look at op­tions for re­build­ing the gar­den.

Western Springs, the Auck­land Do­main and Botanic gar­dens have been sug­gested as op­tions.

Mayor Len Brown says he doesn’t agree with its re­moval.

‘‘It’s some­thing that has been done quite frankly in er­ror. There needs to be an apol­ogy on be­half of coun­cil to the peo­ple and city of Fukuoka.’’

The zoo’s for­mer head gar­dener Stephanie Hay says she feels vin­di­cated af­ter a three-month bat­tle to save it.

Mem­bers of Auck­land’s Ja­panese com­mu­nity voiced their con­cern over the de­struc­tion and a Face­book page set up has more than 500 likes.

‘‘To de­stroy it when there was such a groundswell of op­po­si­tion is wrong. ‘‘Good on you Len for say­ing sorry.’’ Parts of the gar­den have been put into stor­age and sup­port­ers would ide­ally like it re­in­stated at the zoo.

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