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Reclaim the Garden of Memories

Press Release from Peoples Choice 29 June 2007

Reclaim the Garden of Memories

Peoples Choice is calling for Howick’s Garden of Memories to be given back to local residents so that decisions regarding its use can be made by the Howick community.

Peoples Choice Chairman and Howick Community Board candidate Hamish Stevens said that a Peoples Choice Council will vest the Garden in a trust with the Howick Community Board acting as trustees. It will no longer be owned directly by the Manukau City Council.

Mr Stevens said that this is in line with Ms Nixon’s will when she bequeathed the garden to the people of Howick. ‘She didn’t bequeath it to a bunch of bureaucrats in Wiri’

Mr Stevens said that there is community concern over the way decisions have been made about the rebuilding of the Torere. Regardless of whether you support the rebuild or not, it is shameful that the Council promised Ngai Tai that the rebuild would take place well before the local community was consulted. This is not local democracy.

By vesting the Garden with a local trust, the Howick Community Board would be obliged to listen to the local community on its use. “I must say the current Community Board has shown a complete lack of leadership over the rebuild issue. It’s allowed itself to be hoodwinked and has been divided”

Mr Stevens said upkeep of the Garden could be financed through the allocation of funds from the Council in proportion to that collected from Howick residents.

Mr Stevens said the proposal for the Garden of Memories is in line with Peoples Choice policy of returning decision making to local communities. “This will allow the Garden to represent the diversity and goodwill off all groups who make up the Howick community”

Ends


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