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Captain Cook Memorial - At Last!

The HDC Ad. on page 11 of yesterday's HH provides an excellent story on the "Cook's Landing Project" that was presaged some years ago, but appeared to languish awaiting a 'champion'.

Such a person appears to have emerged through Lawrie Smith of the Paeroa Historical Maritime Park Society - read the story to get the complete picture.

The original story appeared here on this blog in 2011, and note Gary Blake's great input at the outset to get this project under way. I spotted Gary hard at work on the original site at that time and posted the story after hearing what they were all up to. It was a great story, but it seemed to have died and gone to heaven before suddenly it came to life yesterday. Obviously, a great deal of input from HDC has taken place in the meantime, and a big 'high five' to John Tregidga in that regard.

It is incredibly important that the significance of Cook's journey by pinnace up the Waihou is recognised, and this tribute is long overdue. It could well have been incorporated in the new Kopu Bridge project, and attained even more significance as a result, but Transport NZ ran into a real obstacle with Ngati Maru who were determined to have pou at either end, and on the bridge acknowledging the iwi's role in the history of the river without the distraction of Cook. It was just a pity that both could not have been recognised appropriately. But antipathy towards Cook within the iwi was quite pronounced at the time, and his presence was not to be countenanced.

Never mind - the re-positioned memorial looks to have corrected the omission, and it should provide a considerable magnet for both tourists and locals. Congratulations to all concerned. And in case anyone thinks that this constitutes a 'shot' at the iwi, let me say that I think the pou are a real embellishment on the Bridge, but I believe that greater effort should have been made to explain their significance to the general population. Appropriate signage appears to be entirely absent, and that is a shame.




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Reader Comments (1)

Interesting you mentioned the pou Bill on the bridge. Often wondered why the 4 on the bridge proper had a flat side facing the traffic--- apparently, I have since found out, they are placed incorrectly-- the flatside should be facing the river and the carvings the road--- like you are driving through a welcoming party on the way to the wharenui. To change their position would mean closing each lane for a period of time. Here is hoping that the powers to be [NZTA] picked up on this and expedite the repositioning of the carvings. The larger pou at each end need some embellishment on those steel columns - even if they were just painted a dark colour to represent a tree trunk!!

June 18, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterFlatfish

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