Land­mark comes down

Central Leader - - FRONT PAGE - By ROSE CAW­LEY

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.

it has


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.

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