Heritage restricts wish to demolish

The Chalmers Community Board is calling for the Moller Park Memorial Arch in Ravensbourne to be...
The Chalmers Community Board is calling for the Moller Park Memorial Arch in Ravensbourne to be demolished. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
The Chalmers Community Board is calling for an almost 80-year-old Ravensbourne memorial to be demolished, but has struck opposition from Heritage New Zealand.

Ravensbourne's Moller Park Memorial Arch was built in the mid-1930s to recognise the achievements of West Harbour mayor, councillor and Otago Harbour Board member Hagbarth Ernest Moller.

Community board chairman Trevor Johnson said the arch's position at the entrance to the park was ''an accident waiting to happen'' as it created a blind spot for drivers as they exited on to State Highway 88.

For this reason, the fact it was deteriorating and a lack of community attachment to the arch, he felt it should be demolished.

''It's been neglected over the years, the board doesn't believe it's worth spending money on it and we are hoping to have it demolished and relocate the plaque to a more suitable place within Moller Park.''

Trevor Johnson
Trevor Johnson
However, the community board's wish to have the arch demolished has hit a snag, with Heritage New Zealand Otago and Southland area manager Jonathan Howard calling on the Dunedin City Council to save it.

In an email to a council staff member, tabled at this week's community board meeting, Mr Howard said demolition should only be a ''last resort''.

The arch showed community recognition for an important member in the West Harbour community, he said.

The council and community should look at alternative options, such as relocating the archway or raising the exit ramp to widen the Port Chalmers side.

Council parks manager Lisa Wheeler said it was up to the council to make a decision on demolition. If a decision was made not to demolish the archway, ''there is probably going to have to be some remedial work done on it,'' Ms Wheeler said.

Earlier this year, the council planned to repair the memorial, but decided not to, after the community board said it should be demolished.

There has been at least one accident in which a driver was injured when their car crashed into the monument.


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