October 13, 2021
Erebus Memorial pohutukawa safe says Ōrākei
Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei deputy chair Ngarimu Blair says the hapū is confident a 200-year-old pohutukawa tree at the Parnell Rose Gardens won’t be damaged by the construction of the Erebus Memorial.
Construction of the memorial could start soon despite the presence of occupiers including Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Whātua Trust Board chair Dame Naida Glavish.
Mr Blair says in approving the memorial project, Ōrākei sought assurances from the Ministry of Culture and Heritage about the safety of the tree.
“When those stopping the memorial said across their social media the tree would be destroyed we too were concerned if it would be and we asked them to provide evidence it would be so. No evidence has been forthcoming,” he says.
Ngarimu Blair says the memorial is not on the site of Mataharehare Pa, as Dame Naida calls it, but Taurarua Pa.
He says he’s often contacted by people who oppose some developers who want to add Maori heritage to the reasons for their opposition, but that’s up to mana whenua to determine.