John Murray Accessway Honours A Fine Man…At Last

John Murray: a man of peace with the white poppy symbol

The late John Murray, one of Kāpiti’s finest campaigners, looks set to get a decent public memorial after a long campaign by local people.

Action after two years

Jeremy Smith reports the campaign to have a beach accessway at Raumati named after the Reverend John Murray is closer to success, but it has taken two years.

In January the Kāpiti Coast Council CEO, Wayne Maxwell, said the delay was the result of a “circular impasse” but would not elaborate.,

Mr Murray, who died in February 2017, was a Presbyterian minister, and an anti-apartheid activist, a supporter of the white ribbon peace campaign  and a supporter of the right for people to die with dignity.

Local woman Alida van der Velde, who knew John from his church work, approached the Council seeking a memorial for him.

The suggestion was approved by the Paraparaumu Raumati Community Board soon after he died and then went through the KCDC.

Supporters ask Council about inaction

But in January this year, Mr Murray’s supporters were back at the Council asking why nothing had been done despite council go-ahead

Mrs Van der Velde said she understood the council’s supposed reason for the delay was a report from the local iwi, Te Atiawa ki Whakarongotai. She said the iwi was not the reason for the delay.

CEO Maxwell said a draft report would be ready in April.

( Alida added this after seeing Jeremy Smith’s article: “Re —   A report will be made” — the report was promised by Council, but they never made it and Iwi were waiting for it before they could (make) progress.

(Council finally came to the party and made that report minus the part IWI had to contribute. When IWI responded to councils report, they were extremely critical of the report that Council made and expressed that in their part of the report) .

Community Board supports plan

And this week the Community board gave its approval to have the beach accessway at Groves Road in Raumati to be named after John Murray. The council had received a letter supporting the proposal from the iwi (see above).

The final approval for the board’s decision will now be signed off by the Kapiti Coast District Councillors.

2 years to honour s great man and Minister. Councillors can fuss about buildings but then procrastinate over ‘human’ decisions. Probably the fault of some shonky ‘ top end group managers’ the kcdc bureaucracy that costs ratepayers millions yet makes atrocious costly mistakes, needs pruning radically.

Alida did not know John from church ,but from singing in the kapiti chamber choir conducted by Peter Godfrey. The project of asking for a memorial was initiated by Mr Alan Tristram. Alida picked it up supported by 100+ ratepayers who gave their signature and support. Alida was the spokes person. The group of supporters received the expert and invaluable help, advise and direction from Mrs. Salima Padamsey a local anthropologist specialising in Human Rights. Salima did not know John, but became a supporter when she got to know all the good work John had done and what sort of person he was. We also had great support from Councillor Mark Benton who worked as an intermediate between our group, the community board, council and IWI representatives.


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