Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Community Board Honours Pioneer’s Wishes

Community Board Honours Pioneer’s Wishes

Howick Community Board has made a wise decision and done the right thing by honouring the will of an early pioneer, says Howick Councillor Jami-Lee Ross.

Mr Ross’ comments come after Monday night’s Community Board meeting where Board members recommended rebuilding the small Maori learning house, Torere, in the Emilia Maud Nixon Garden of Memories after it was destroyed by fire last year.

“Emilia Maud Nixon was one of Howick’s early pioneers whose vision was to bring two cultures together to live and work in harmony. She dedicated her later life to creating a garden for Howick to enjoy and she wanted it to continue as a cultural education centre once she passed on.

“In recent years 16,000 children and new settlers have had the chance to experience the great learning programs being run in the Garden of Memories each year. These programs have even been so successful that the Ministry of Education has decided to give an annual grant of $150,000 so they can continue into the future. It is astounding that some people wanted to stop the good work happening in the Garden of Memories and deny children the opportunity to learn about the cultural history of New Zealand.”

Mr Ross says he is concerned that some Community Board members deliberately deceived Howick residents with false claims about hidden agendas, and were not up front about their alternative plan which could run into the millions.

“The same Board members who were prepared to run rough-shod over Miss Nixon’s wishes were also suggesting that ratepayers should foot the bill for a large Marae to be built at Pigeon Mountain. Unfortunately this would also mean throwing away $187,000 in insurance and the $150,000 Ministry of Education grant. The cost of building a large Marae will be extremely high and when all costs are added up, ratepayers could be looking at well over a million dollars.

“Since that terrible fire last year I have been working with community representatives to find a way to rebuild Torere in the Garden of Memories cost effectively, exactly the same size as the previous building. Despite the negative efforts of some people involved in the project, I am confident the recommended design is the best option for Torere to continue as an educational centre for the benefit of the Howick community.”

Mr Ross says that rebuilding Torere in the Garden of Memories is following the wishes of Howick residents, pointing to a 2001 management plan which was publicly consulted for two years.

“Some people have tried to claim that rebuilding Torere is not what Howick people want and it should be removed. No doubt a small minority of people will always be against anything Maori, but I believe most Howick people are more open minded than that. In actual fact, Miss Nixon wanted her garden to build friendship between both European and Maori cultures.

“The Garden of Memories management plan received considerable public input over two years and through that process Howick residents said they agreed with Torere’s presence. The Manukau City Council has also showed commitment to continuing the wishes of Miss Nixon by exploring the possibility of replacing her replica Fencible cottage and bridge of friendship.”

Mr Ross says he welcomes the fact that the Howick Community Board has stopped playing games and is now looking towards a positive outcome for everybody. He believes negative comments from some Board members won’t benefit anyone and will only frustrate the community further.

“Miss Nixon wanted her Garden to be used for the education of children and she would surely be delighted with the work that is carried out in her memory. It is unfortunate that a few closed minded people have attempted to destroy the value of the Garden of Memories and derail any progress being made. This Howick icon needs to continue to shine for future generations and rebuilding Torere is central to continuing Emilia Maud Nixon’s wishes.”


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Scoop 3.0: How You Can Help Scoop’s Evolution

Entering into its third decade of operation, the Scoop news ecosystem is set to undergo another phase of transformation and evolution.

We have big plans for 2018 as we look to expand our public interest journalism coverage, upgrade our publishing infrastructure and offer even more valuable business tools to commercial users of Scoop. More>>


Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>


Parental Leave: National's Time-Sharing Change Fails

National has proposed a change to the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Bill that would allow both parents to take paid parental leave at the same time, if that is what suits them best. More>>


Train Free Thursday: Workers Strike To Defend Terms Of Employment

"They signed up to these conditions a year ago when they got the contract for Wellington's rail services. Now they're trying to increase profits by squeezing frontline workers." More>>


Seclusion: Ombudsman Emphasises Importance Of Monitoring

Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero says that while there have been changes to the Education (Update) Amendment Act 2017 to prohibit the use of seclusion, the report is an important reminder of the importance of regular monitoring of schools. More>>


United Future History: "All Good Things Must End"

'We’re extremely proud of what we’ve achieved over the past 15 years, working alongside the government of the day, both National and Labour.' Mr Light told members on Monday. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The TPP Outcome, And The Hobbit Law

Somehow the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal has come lurching back from the dead – and as predicted in this column last week, the member countries gathered in Vietnam have announced a deal in broad principle, shunted aside until a later date the stuff on which they don’t agree, and declared victory. More>>

Agreeing To Differ: Greens Maintain Opposition To TPPA
“The Green Party has long opposed the TPPA. The new proposed deal, which came out of the weekend’s talks, still contains key ISDS concessions to corporations that put our democracy at risk, so our position remains the same,” said Green Party trade spokesperson Golriz Ghahraman. More>>


Monitoring Report: A New Chapter For Children’s Rights In New Zealand?

The Children’s Commissioner is calling on the country to embrace children’s rights to ensure their overall well-being. More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election