Supporters of a memorial for Kāpiti’s famous peace campaigner the Very Rev. John Murray want to know why nothing has happened despite two years of requests to the KCDC and Mayor K Gurunathan.
And KIN asks: Why has the KCDC failed to provide a memorial for John Murray?
Mr Murray was known nationally for his campaigning on social justice issues — including his opposition to the 1986 rugby tour, his support for the White Ribbon campaign and his opposition to any militarism in Anzac Day commemorations. And of course he was head (Moderator) of the Presbyterian Church for some time.
Our local government correspondent Jeremy Smith reports John’s admirers were back at a Kāpiti Coast Council meeting today looking for answers from Mayor K Gurunathan, Kāpiti councillors, and their CEO, Wayne Maxwell.
He says they told councillors how the proposal went through the Paraparaumu-Raumati community board in April 2017 and was then approved by the KCDC.
Alida van der Velde said the hold-up appeared to be because the council was waiting for a report from local iwi. She said the non-existent report was a “significant roadblock’.
And she said the petition for a memorial now has more than 100 signatures.
She said the delay was not caused by local iwi, Te Atiawa ki Whakarongotai who were in fact waiting for the initial report from the council. She understood Te Atiawa Trust chair Andre Baker, a former KCDC councillor, would not talk to the council until he saw the report.
‘Send a clear message to the CEO’
“I request that the Councillors at this table, send a clear message to the CEO, to make this a priority and get it done so we can move on with this process. This delay has cost Council and ratepayers a lot of money AND has created mistrust of Council and their processes”.
Maureen Roxburgh, who met John Murray, when he was a retired Presbyterian minister, described him as a great advocate for peace who helped found the Kapiti branch of the University for the Third Age.
Mayor Gurunathan said he would specifically ask for the report.
KCDC CEO Wayne Maxwell would only say the situation was a circular impasse. But he said a draft report would be ready by April 1.