War memorial finish line in sight
Adebate that has raged for almost five years might soon end as Napier City Council takes further steps towards completing the Napier War Memorial.
Last week the council’s Future Napier committee adopted the concept design for the return of the Perpetual Flame, Roll of Honour and remembrance and reflection space at the war memorial centre.
At the meeting Napier Returned Services Association (RSA) representatives told councillors the feedback from members was positive, and said that if a finished memorial wasn’t possible by Armistice Day on November 11, they would settle for Anzac Day next year.
Napier mayor Kirsten Wise who promised this year to get the memorial back in place by end-2021, thanked the community for its patience and input.
“It has been a long journey to this point, but it is important to take the time to get it right,” she said.
The committee also decided to include the existing entranceway to better define access to the memorial.
Once the recommendations have been approved by the Ma¯ori committee and the full council, the concept design, which the community saw at a meeting in March, will be advanced to the detailed design stage, ready for construction. The committee also approved the recommendations related to the repair and reinstatement of the Napier War Memorial’s original Roll of Honour plaques.
The floral clock, and the War Memorial Centre management policy will be discussed separately.
The War Memorial, commemorating primarily those who had perished in the two world wars and incorporating a conference centre, opened in 1957.
But it has been embroiled in a conflict of its own since structural changes in 2015 led to rebranding for conference and events marketing purposes.
Rebranding as the Napier Conference Centre in 2017 inflamed the issue.