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Mayoral candidates back waterfront Chinese Garden project

6 September 2016

Mayoral candidates back waterfront Chinese Garden project

Most of Wellington’s mayoral candidates are right behind a proposal to build a modern Chinese Garden to be built on the waterfront at Frank Kitts Park.

Six mayoral hopefuls – Jo Coughlan, Andy Foster, Keith Johnson, Nick Leggett, Justin Lester and Nicola Young – spoke to about 70 mainly Chinese audiences at a forum organised by the Wellington Chinese Garden Society at Wellington Central Library.

The proposal, first put forward almost 20 years ago, goes before a resource consent hearing in the capital in October. Wellington City Council has already secured funding through the capital’s sister city relationships with Xiamen and Beijing and friendly city, Tianjin in China. The proposal has the endorsement of Chinese President Xi Jinping and New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, who witnessed the signing of an agreement to build the garden between the Mayors of Xiamen and Wellington in November 2014.

The Garden of Beneficence is expected to cost around $6.5 million, with the Chinese Garden Society tasked with raising $1,000,000 as the community’s share of the project.

Society chairman Harvey Wu said: “We are hugely excited about the prospect of having a garden in the Capital as a symbol and reminder of the role of the Chinese community has played in the social, cultural and political development of New Zealand and as an expression of its hopes and aspiration for the future.”

Five of the six candidates supported the proposed waterfront location, subject to resource consent being granted and sufficient funding in place. Ms Young said she favoured an alternative site be found away from the waterfront.

ENDS


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