Landmark comes down
A LANDMARK cross is no longer sitting on Mt Roskill.
Puketapapa Local Board member Nigel Turnbull used to look up at the cross every day when he exited the southwestern motorway at Dominion Rd.
But all he saw on June 10 was a stark pole.
‘‘To drive there and see it down, I was shocked.’’
The future of the cross was being questioned by the Maunga Authority last week.
‘‘I thought there was going to be conversation and a process with people being informed and updated on progress,’’ Turnbull says.
The Puketapapa Local Board passed an urgent resolution on May 28, supporting a move back to fixed dates and suggesting a community group could take ownership of the cross.
This ‘‘flies in the face’’ of those discussions, he says.
Turnbull has sent an email to Auckland Council chief executive Stephen Town demanding that he look into the issue.
‘‘It beggars belief that locally elected representatives are kept completely sidelined and unaware of these developments.’’
The board’s representative to the Maunga Authority’s Local Board Forum Michael Wood says they have asked the authority for clarity on the decision.
He says keeping the structure up while discussions took place ‘‘would have made local people feel a bit more comfortable’’.
But he says it won’t detract from the board seeking a ‘‘good outcome’’ that respects both the authority and the history of the area.
‘‘We are aware it is a really sensitive issue and want to work through it in a really constructive way.’’
The Mt Roskill cross used to be displayed only at Easter and Christmas but since the super-city was established in 2010 remained year-round.
The cross references the history of the suburb. The area is known for its ethnic diversity but Mt Roskill was once dubbed the ‘‘Bible belt’’ with 26 churches for its 35,000 residents in the 1980s.
Tupuna Maunga o Tamaki Makaurau Authority, which represents Auckland iwi, was set up last year to govern 14 of Auckland’s maunga.
Several changes have been implemented since. Cars have been banned from driving up Maungawhau-Mt Eden, the mountains have been made alcohol and smoke-free and a bowls club evicted from its patch on Otahuhu-Mt Richmond.
The sites hold significant spiritual and historical value and the changes are designed to encourage Aucklanders to respect them.
Maunga Authority chairman Paul Majurey did not respond to multiple requests for comment from the Central Leader.
Members of the Kingdom Rise Church pray as the sun rises over the cross on Mt Roskill.
The bare pole is all that remains.
The cross structure as it once stood.