Porirua names sadly miss­ing

Kapi-Mana News - - OPINION -

I agree with your ed­i­to­rial (Jan­uary 13) about lack of recog­ni­tion for Porirua peo­ple in the New Year hon­ours list.

It seems in­cred­i­ble that no-one liv­ing in Porirua – and there are more than 50,000 of us! – was deemed wor­thy of a men­tion.

A quick look at the full list re­veals that the top awards, such as the knight­hoods, go to peo­ple who have won po­lit­i­cal favour with what­ever party is in gov­ern­ment.

But it would be nice to think that hon­ours like the QSMs would more gen­uinely rep­re­sent de­serv­ing peo­ple who have served their com­mu­ni­ties well.

I am baf­fled as to why peo­ple in Porirua are not deemed wor­thy, and per­haps you are right.

It seems the im­pe­tus will have to come from the Porirua com­mu­nity be­cause no-one out­side Porirua seems es­pe­cially both­ered about try­ing to re­ward the right peo­ple. Christ­mas, and it also rep­re­sents blood – the blood of our fam­ily mem­bers that would have flowed if the Ja­panese had in­vaded New Zealand.

The United States Marines pro­tected us while most of our troops were in Europe.

The irony is that if the in­va­sion had oc­curred, many of us would not be here to­day. We would never have been born.

So be thank­ful to the Marines, re­alise that they lost many of their num­ber and feel a deep sense of shame that our city coun­cil first ne­glected then voted to de­mol­ish the only lo­cal struc­ture that was spe­cially erected for the Marines, which has na­tional sig­nif­i­cance.

It would be an in­sult if our ap­pre­ci­a­tion for the sac­ri­fices the Marines made was re­mem­bered by a plaque in the ground.

There should be a liv­ing struc­ture in which com­mu­nity ac­tiv­i­ties can take place and which is an ef­fec­tive re­minder of our re­cent his­tory.

Those who voted to de­mol­ish the hall failed the cit­i­zens of Ti­tahi Bay and Porirua, but more sig­nif­i­cantly all New Zealan­ders.

Coun­cil­lors should ap­pre­ci­ate those who shaped our re­cent past, and re­scind their decision.

Life and real mean­ing needs to be put into the Marines Hall. It should be a sym­bol that all New Zealan­ders know about.

It should not be de­mol­ished and be­come the field of shame.

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