Hope for new garden
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.