Where is the public input?

LETTER

Once again the Gisborne public has been ignored, with the plan for the Cook monument site prepared by the usual select group of “insiders”.

Once again the wider public has not been asked for ideas and we must now assume the makeover design is a “fait accompli” — a done deal.

This is not just a local monument — it is a designated national monument, with the obelisk paid for, by subscription, by the people of New Zealand.

So where is the public input? We have a list of “stakeholders” who apparently contributed design elements — and the Department of Conservation and Ngati Oneone have a lead role — but nowhere is there any mention of any wider public role, nor any real idea of who contributed what, or who had the biggest say.

Once again the in-group of culprits is thumbing its nose at the public and dictating how things will go, what “stories” will be told, and how things will look.

With all the recent projects — the new council building, the library, the airport terminal, the takeover of Kelvin Park, the removal of the observatory and plans for Titirangi/Kaiti Hill, and so on, the notion of inclusiveness has been trampled into the mud.

As a footnote, the earliest accepted date for Maori arriving in New Zealand is around 1280-1300 AD — not the claimed 750 years before Cook’s arrival in 1769.

Roger Handford

Once again the Gisborne public has been ignored, with the plan for the Cook monument site prepared by the usual select group of “insiders”.

Once again the wider public has not been asked for ideas and we must now assume the makeover design is a “fait accompli” — a done deal.

This is not just a local monument — it is a designated national monument, with the obelisk paid for, by subscription, by the people of New Zealand.

So where is the public input? We have a list of “stakeholders” who apparently contributed design elements — and the Department of Conservation and Ngati Oneone have a lead role — but nowhere is there any mention of any wider public role, nor any real idea of who contributed what, or who had the biggest say.

Once again the in-group of culprits is thumbing its nose at the public and dictating how things will go, what “stories” will be told, and how things will look.

With all the recent projects — the new council building, the library, the airport terminal, the takeover of Kelvin Park, the removal of the observatory and plans for Titirangi/Kaiti Hill, and so on, the notion of inclusiveness has been trampled into the mud.

As a footnote, the earliest accepted date for Maori arriving in New Zealand is around 1280-1300 AD — not the claimed 750 years before Cook’s arrival in 1769.

Roger Handford

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