Memo­rial gets a green light for up­grade

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - KRIS DANDO

The peace memo­rial on Te Rau­paraha Park in Porirua will be up­graded, with a price tag of $517,000.

The en­hance­ment could in­clude two new stat­ues, of a sol­dier on one side of the memo­rial and a woman and chil­dren on the other, plaques to com­mem­o­rate fallen sol­diers, and seat­ing.

The high cost is be­ing jus­ti­fied due to the memo­rial’s high-pro­file spot in the city, which cur­rently ‘‘lacks a sig­nif­i­cant pres­ence’’ about it, ac­cord­ing to a re­port pre­sented to Porirua City coun­cil­lors on Thurs­day morn­ing.

‘‘As the city’s most prom­i­nent memo­rial, the work needs to be of a high qual­ity to re­flect the sig­nif­i­cance of this space in its role of com­mem­o­ra­tion in Porirua,’’ the re­port states.

Greater em­pha­sis on New Zealand’s role in wars in school cur­ric­ula and in­creas­ingly strong turnouts to An­zac Day cer­e­monies meant there was a need for an im­proved memo­rial, the re­port con­cludes.

The $517,000 will be spread over two years and come from the coun­cil’s $21 mi­il­ion bud­get for the city cen­tre re­vi­tal­i­sa­tion pro­gramme.

A con­cept plan was de­vel­oped by land­scape ar­chi­tects Isth­mus Group, in dis­cus­sion with mem­bers of the Porirua War Memo­rial Project Team, that in­cluded war his­to­rian Allan Dod­son, Porirua RSA’s John Han­nan and re­tired Bri­gadier Roger Mort­lock.

It is hoped to fin­ish the con­struc­tion be­fore Land Wars com­mem­o­ra­tions in Oc­to­ber.

Mort­lock told coun­cil­lors at Thurs­day’s City De­liv­ery com­mit­tee meet­ing that ‘‘in­tense re­search’’ had been car­ried out to dis­cover the names of the ser­vice­men and ser­vice­women from the district that had served in wars.

These would be in­cluded on plaques.

‘‘As an old sol­dier, I’m dis­turbed when we have gath­er­ings for An­zac Day and peo­ple say ‘we will re­mem­ber them’, when we have no idea who we are re­mem­ber­ing,’’ Mort­lock said.

‘‘That’s dis­taste­ful and we can do bet­ter.

‘‘A new memo­rial would be a sparkling ad­di­tion to the city.’’

Porirua RSA pres­i­dent Roger Kings­ford said Tawa had a new memo­rial on the way and Welling­ton’s was spec­tac­u­lar, ‘‘so we shouldn’t be left be­hind’’.

The RSA are half­way to­wards rais­ing $64,000 to help fund it.

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