Petition backs Riley Baker memorial

Riley Baker
Riley Baker
A petition calling for the memorial of Dunedin photographer Riley Baker to remain in its present location is gaining support online.

Mr Baker's family erected a concrete and granite memorial which contained his ashes near the site of the crash in which he died, on State Highway 1 near Shag Point last August.

The memorial had stood for nine months without issue, until Downer - the contractor which managed the land on behalf of the NZ Transport Agency - contacted his sister, Sarah Baker, last week to inform her it should not have been allowed and would have to be removed.

The online petition, launched this week in response to Downer's plans, had gained more than 350 signatures by 5pm yesterday.

Support had come from as far afield as Australia, the United Kingdom, United States and Canada.

Miss Baker had kept Downer informed of her plans for her brother's memorial and was given permission to proceed.

The email from Downer said ''after a number of complaints from the local council and members of the public'', it was decided to remove the memorial.

It later emerged a single complaint from a member of the public was received by the Waitaki District Council, and passed on to the NZTA as was normal process.

That complaint mentioned four or five issues the person had with the area and included a ''very small, one-line'' reference to the memorial, Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher said.

 - The petition can be found here

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