Public being ridden over roughshod

LETTER

The Cook obelisk on Kaiti Beach Road is a national monument, and as such, any plan to modify that reserve should have been put to the public — first — before anything was done.

As I have repeatedly pointed out, this is yet another case of a complete lack of public consultation. The Department of Conservation (DoC) and District Council are at fault, along with other parties who arrogantly push their own barrows without regard for public feeling.

Not only is the Cook site a listed national historic monument, it was partly funded by the people of New Zealand through subscription. DoC was entrusted with the reserve’s oversight, but has trampled on this trust by allowing the site’s integrity to be trashed by these intrusions.

A monstrous concrete plinth (for a statue I assume?) has destroyed the large grass area behind the obelisk. It looks like it was deliberately planned to overshadow the Cook obelisk. The stalled and misnamed “thousand-year” bridge will complete the takeover.

Last Saturday’s Gisborne Herald briefly outlined the “redevelopment”, but to date not one fully-laid-out plan or architectural drawing has been produced to show the public how it will look when completed. Are we ever going to get one?

The site’s original purpose has been totally and unnecessarily compromised — the Maori stories could have been told without the slighting of Cook and existing monuments.

That the wider public has at no point been consulted, nor given the courtesy of design drawings to show fully what is intended with statues and the like is a disgrace.

We are being ridden over roughshod and I for one strongly object.

Roger Handford

The Cook obelisk on Kaiti Beach Road is a national monument, and as such, any plan to modify that reserve should have been put to the public — first — before anything was done.

As I have repeatedly pointed out, this is yet another case of a complete lack of public consultation. The Department of Conservation (DoC) and District Council are at fault, along with other parties who arrogantly push their own barrows without regard for public feeling.

Not only is the Cook site a listed national historic monument, it was partly funded by the people of New Zealand through subscription. DoC was entrusted with the reserve’s oversight, but has trampled on this trust by allowing the site’s integrity to be trashed by these intrusions.

A monstrous concrete plinth (for a statue I assume?) has destroyed the large grass area behind the obelisk. It looks like it was deliberately planned to overshadow the Cook obelisk. The stalled and misnamed “thousand-year” bridge will complete the takeover.

Last Saturday’s Gisborne Herald briefly outlined the “redevelopment”, but to date not one fully-laid-out plan or architectural drawing has been produced to show the public how it will look when completed. Are we ever going to get one?

The site’s original purpose has been totally and unnecessarily compromised — the Maori stories could have been told without the slighting of Cook and existing monuments.

That the wider public has at no point been consulted, nor given the courtesy of design drawings to show fully what is intended with statues and the like is a disgrace.

We are being ridden over roughshod and I for one strongly object.

Roger Handford

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Ruth Walton - 19 days ago
Just another example of council bullying. What can we do Roger? No one is listening.

Turei Kaa - 18 days ago
Looks as if not too many people care about Cook - except those like you still wanting to extol the virtue of a bullshit history. Personally, they should just tear down that phallic symbol of a cocked-up history that you try to bombard us with. Keep up the good work, your whingeing never ceases to amaze me.

Arthur Payne - 18 days ago
I agree with Roger Handford in that locals should have been consulted fully prior to any alteration to the landing memorial. James Cook was only five minutes in front of the French. If the French had got here first I doubt there would be a Turei Kaa today.

Rae, Tamaki Makaurau - 18 days ago
Turanganui a Kiwa is a beautiful name returned to us. This and many other important happenings would not have happened had we let ignorant people, on this or any other subject, ride roughshod over the district.

Keep up the good work whanau. Thank you.

This is my opinion Roger, Ruth and Arthur.

Peter Jones - 18 days ago
Arthur Payne forgot to mention Spain, Portugal, Holland and Belgium. Beside their track records the English are saints. Maori are very fortunate indeed that Cook got here first, even if he was an arsehole. It's time that they respect that instead of putting the boot in to their English saviour. At least Maori are here to moan. It could have been much different.

Lloyd Gretton, Auckland - 17 days ago
As my history professor once said, the Spanish wanted to convert them, the French to civilise them, the Dutch and Germans to work them, the English to turn them into English gentlemen. I think the Maori got the best end of the stick.

Judith Collie, Qld - 17 days ago
Rae, I am having difficulty understanding your comments. You say that important things would not have happened had we let ignorant people ride roughshod over the district. Do you not mean "had we not let ignorant people ride roughshod"? If I am being just a bit too ignorant please feel free to correct me and explain where I am going wrong.

Rae - 15 days ago
Judith Collie, No. It's understandable that you did not understand me. You are I see from Australia. Read it as written J.C.

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