Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search

 


Removal Of Greymouth War Memorial Gates

PRESS STATEMENT

Removal Of Greymouth War Memorial Gates


8 January 2008

The New Zealand Historic Places Trust (NZHPT) has condemned the insensitive removal of the memorial gate pillars at the former Grey Main School in Greymouth.

War memorials are part of the New Zealand cultural landscape. Practically all towns in New Zealand have at least one memorial to those from the area who died serving their country during World War One. Over 18,000 New Zealand men were killed in action or died of wounds or disease, with most being buried in foreign lands, many with no known grave.

Because of this, war memorials function as a surrogate tomb or headstone, a place to remember those who had, before the war, been part of a New Zealand community. But the memorials are not all the same. In fact, there is a real difference in types and symbolism employed in memorials around the country. Each memorial was erected by its community with much consideration. This is certainly the case with the Greymouth War Memorial Gates.

The Greymouth War Memorial Gates at the entrance to a site that was formerly the Grey Main School on Tainui Street, Greymouth, represent a significant community effort to recognise and commemorate 40 servicemen and women previously associated with the school who died during service in World War One. Like numerous other war memorials throughout New Zealand, the entrance gates, which were erected in 1922, serve as a unique and significant reminder of the sacrifice made by the people of that community.

When unveiled on Anzac Day 25 April 1922, only four years after the war had ended, the gates were hailed as a powerful reminder and exemplar for the community, especially for school pupils, so that the names commemorated on the gates would never be forgotten.

Now that the Grey Main School is no longer located at this site the gates also serve as a tangible reminder of the site of the earliest State School in Greymouth – Grey Main School, first established on the site in 1878.
The NZHPT has been working to register the Gates as a Category II Historic Place; this has involved research and consultation with key stakeholders, including the site’s owners. The NZHPT is extremely disappointed that a process had been put in place to find a good heritage outcome for the Gates, only for them to be removed, early on a Sunday morning, without further consultation.

NZHPT registration is recognition that a place is significant and has a heritage value to the community and all citizens of New Zealand. Despite media reports to the contrary NZHPT did not hold a special meeting yesterday to discuss this issue nor has it considered placing a covenant on the gates.

NZHPT had hoped the Gates could be retained on their original site and understands Greymouth District Council would also prefer to retain the gates at their current location. But the council has also considered an alternative location for the gates should that be the outcome of negotiations.

The action of removing the gates illustrates the vulnerability of New Zealand’s heritage in circumstances where items are not listed in District Plans and consequently given some protection. District Plan listing provides the protection – this insensitive removal should serve as a timely reminder to all City, Regional and District Councils to ensure war memorials of all forms are listed as protected items in their plans.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Cricket: Dramatic Win Puts Black Caps In Finals

In Parliament: When Parliament resumed at 2pm the House passed a motion on a voice vote admiring the performance of the New Zealand cricket team in last night’s World Cup semi-final and wishing them well for the final on the weekend. More>>

ALSO:

Moon Shot/Kills Switch: The X Factor Judges Removed

MediaWorks has today decided that Natalia Kills and Willie Moon are no longer suitable to judge The X Factor and have removed them from the show. MediaWorks CEO, Mark Weldon, said that last night on The X Factor both Kills and Moon made comments that were completely unacceptable. More>>

ALSO:

Tessa Nichol: Up Up & Away In The Wairarapa

It’s an overcast morning in the Wairarapa but the mood on the ground in Carterton’s Carrington Park is anything but grey. More than 20 hot air balloons are getting ready to take off into the cloudy sky to mark the start of this year’s Wairarapa Balloon Festival. More>>

Golden Shears: Scotsman Wins Golden Shears Open Final

A Scottish shearer who settled in New Zealand to farm in Taranaki has become the first shearer from overseas to win the Golden Shears Open Shearing Championship. More>>

ALSO:

Shipped On A Bottle: Young Change-Makers Take To The Sea On Plastic Bottle Kayaks

With the aim of harnessing innovative design to construct kayaks solely from recycled materials, the “waste positive” project Plastic Bottle Kayak brings adventure into Kiwi classrooms. The call is out now for classrooms to send in messages and artwork to be inserted into the bottles. More>>

TV3 Video: Auckland Arts Festival Kicks Off

The Auckland Arts Festival kicks off March 4, with artists from New Zealand and all over the world on show. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Culture
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news