Keep Suffrage Memorial in Khartoum Place
City Vision-Labour Councillors
For Immediate Release
7 September 2010
Keep Suffrage Memorial in Khartoum Place say Councillors
Six Auckland City Councillors say that the Women’s Suffrage Memorial should remain in its present location in Khartoum Place. Councillors Cathy Casey, Glenda Fryer, Denise Roche, Leila Boyle, Graeme Easte and Richard Northey will be supporting the National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ) which is presenting a petition tomorrow (Wednesday 8 September) to the Council’s Arts Culture & Recreation Committee asking for a commitment from the Council to keep the Memorial permanently in Khartoum Place.
The Women's Suffrage Centenary Memorial was erected in Khartoum Place in 1993, one hundred years after New Zealand became the first country in the world to give women the vote. The memorial is made of over 2000 brightly coloured tiles and was designed by artists Claudia Pond Eyley and Jan Morrison.
Councillor Cathy Casey says “The present council must accept that there are strong feelings about the siting of the memorial and give a commitment before the election to retaining it in its current special site in the heart of the city. The Suffrage Memorial has unique historical significance for women all over the world. This particular site was given by Auckland City Council and the memorial was specially designed to fit the space and so works on many different horizontal and vertical levels. It is dishonest, wasteful and disrespectful to consider moving it.”
Councillor Denise Roche says "I have yet to hear a convincing argument to explain why the Suffrage Memorial should be moved from Khartoum Place. There simply isn't any good reason for it. Moving the tiles would be expensive and could destroy the work altogether and it is unnecessary. We wouldn't shift the cenotaph. Memorials are not mobile."
Councillor Glenda Fryer says, “Schools bring hundreds of children to visit the memorial every year to see the suffragists who fought so hard to get the vote for women in New Zealand. It does not bode well that just as the ballot papers for the election are about to go out, Citizens & Ratepayers councillors are proposing to demolish the Memorial. What type of message is C&R sending to young voters?”
Councillor Graeme Easte says, "The memorial was designed to be experienced at close quarters by viewers climbing the staircase. Those who say it should be removed to open up a view of the art gallery from Lorne Street are talking nonsense. Art gallery visitors deliberately chose to go there, they don’t just chance upon it.”