Media release: 25 November 2021
Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage Chief Executive, Bernadette Cavanagh, expressed a firm commitment to getting site preparation works underway for the National Erebus Memorial at Taurarua Dove-Myer Robinson Park in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland.
"As the 42nd anniversary of the accident approaches this weekend, I want to sincerely thank Erebus family members for their continued support and resilience throughout this process. My thoughts are with them at this time.
"The families of the Erebus accident are at the heart of our continued mahi to create the memorial.
Ministry contractors arrived at the site this morning to resume site preparation, supported by Auckland Council staff, but were disrupted by the actions of protestors.
"I am disappointed in the current situation at the National Erebus Memorial site and the way this small number of protesters is behaving.
"I am confident in the integrity of the democratic process followed to select the National Erebus Memorial site and design, and that the environmental, cultural and heritage values of the park will be properly respected and protected.
"The Ministry respects people’s right to hold different views, and to peaceful protest.
"It is our view that the concerns held by protesters have been fully addressed.
"In particular, I would like to provide assurance the notable pōhutukawa tree will not be harmed by the establishment of the memorial. It is safe, and will continue to be kept safe, throughout the construction of the memorial and beyond.
"A range of qualified arborists have reviewed the plans and have all concluded the memorial poses no risk to the tree. I am confident the tree will remain a protected and well-loved pillar of the community for many years to come.
"We will continue to work with the relevant agencies to resolve the current situation and get site preparation underway," said Bernadette Cavanagh.
People can find out more about the history of the Erebus accident and keep up to date on the project through the Ministry's website: www.mch.govt.nz/erebus-memorial
Updated on 25th November 2021