Auckland Mayor Phil Goff says mana whenua have worked consistently alongside Ministry of Culture and Heritage in support of Erebus Memorial.Auckland Mayor Phil Goff says full consultation was made with iwi and mana whenua as protesters occupy the p site of Mataharehare where an Erebus memorial is planned.
Occupants who oppose the memorial at Auckland’s Dove-Myer Robinson Park have put up signs at the Parnell site.
But Goff said “full consultation was made with Ngti Whtua rkei” over the memorial, which would pay tribute to the 237 passengers and 20 crew killed when an Air New Zealand flight crashed into Mt Erebus in Antarctica in 1979.
“Their marae is very close to the site and the iwi is in full support,” Goff told RNZ.
“They have been consistently in support of the memorial on that site.”
He says the protesting group, led by Mori leader Dame Rangimarie Naida Glavish, have a personal view but do not speak for Ngti Whtua rkei.
Glavish, also of Ngti Whtua descent, says the site is culturally significant.
Glavish arrived at the occupied site just after 2pm yesterday where she sat in silence under the giant 180-year-old phutukawa tree, which is close to the memorial construction.
“It felt like I was sitting in the arms of my ancestors of 180-plus years ago that walked this whenua. This is Mataharehare, it is a p,” she told RNZ.
Goff says an “overwhelming majority” support the establishment of the memorial. But a Colmar Brunton poll of Waitemat and Auckland of Erebus Memorial in Mataharehare suggests otherwise.
About 62 per cent said the memorial would worsen their experience, indicating their opposition.
A number of 774 people from across Auckland opposed the memorial, and 69 per cent of people who identified as Mori said it would worsen their experience.
On Sunday, Glavish sent a letter outlining her concern about the “integrity of process” for the memorial to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and other ministers.
Ministry of Heritage and Culture chief executive Bernadette Cavanagh informed Glavish that the ministry’s position remains unchanged despite her call for a hui to achieve an outcome that upholds the mana of the Crown, the Treaty partner, all Tmaki and the families affected by Erebus.
Glavish said: “I question the integrity of the process due to poor consultation, misinformation and a lack of transparency.
“I believe this shows the hallmarks of a predetermined outcome by the ministry that was pushed through with the Prime Minister’s blessing and the Mayor’s help.”
Mataharehare is proposed for a development that includes 534sq m of earthworks, and a 17m by 8m-high double walled concrete and steel structure that will cut through the heart of the green sanctuary located behind Dove-Myer Robinson Park.
An Auckland Council representative says it’s difficult to say how many people “normally” submit on a consultation because there are several elements to consider, such as the geographic reach, level of interest and scope of the consultation topic.
For the Proposed Erebus Memorial consultation, Auckland Council received 953 submissions from individuals or groups, with 58 of these submitting more than once.
“During the first few days of the consultation we dropped flyers to about 2500 households in Parnell,” they said.
“When the decision was made to extend the consultation we dropped an additional 3372 flyers to cover the below area.
“In addition to these letter drops, we sent out emails to key stakeholders, put up posters around Parnell, used online and external media sources.
“It’s not possible to say how many submissions each of these methods generated but as a whole and compared to other projects this consultation received a huge amount of feedback.
“In comparison, for this year’s Local Board Plan consultation, where they sought feedback on their strategic direction for the next three years, we received 324 submissions. The Parnell Plan consultation received 238 submissions.”
Goff said: “People have the right to protest, but equally the people who lost their loved ones 40 years ago deserve to see some progress made.”

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