Support for Baker memorial petition

Sarah Baker at the memorial to her brother, Riley, at Shag Point. Photo: Gregor Richardson
Sarah Baker at the memorial to her brother, Riley, at Shag Point. Photo: Gregor Richardson

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

Mr Baker (26) died after a tourist crossed the centre line on State Highway 1 in North Otago and smashed into Mr Baker’s oncoming motorcycle on August 13 last year.

The memorial, made up of a bench and a plaque and containing Mr Baker's ashes, is at Shag Point near the site of the crash.

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

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

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

Miss Baker had kept Downer informed of her plans for the 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 review the decision to allow the installation to go ahead and 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 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 ipetition can be found online here

 

 

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