Iwi puts the brakes on statue idea for Auckland's Bastion Point, calling it 'an idea in its infancy'

Ngāti Whātua Orākei is putting the brakes on a proposed enormous sculpture at Auckland's Bastion Point, calling discussion of its installation "premature".

Auckland Council has allocated $1 million of funding to explore the possibility of the sculpture, which would depict the Māori earth goddess Papatūānuku.

An animation by Ian Taylor shows a concept statue in place on Auckland's waterfront at Wynyard Quarter.

Chair of the Ngāti Whātua Orākei Trust Deputy Chair Ngarimu Blair said in a statement yesterday that the concept animation for the statue is only a concept, and further discussion is needed on the potential for Māori tourism across the Auckland region in a wider context.

"Our iwi development arm has raised with the Council and local boards the idea of a culturally significant icon for Tāmaki Makaurau, as part of a wider discussion on tourism and future opportunities," Ms Blair said.

"Takaparawhau/Bastion Point is a significant place for our iwi, and for all who visit and live here.

"Any sculpture idea is just that – an idea in its infancy.

"The Trust believes that any potential sculpture or pou would have to be something that we can all be proud of, and that is well thought through.

"We would need to see a full proposal and consider this in a wider context before deciding to take the idea any further."

Discussion around the statue of Papatūānuku – the Earth Mother – are at early stages, but are already proving controversial. Source: 1 NEWS

Winston Peters says Government's $2.3 billion Poseidon aircraft spend avoids New Zealand ‘bludging on others’

Winston Peters has defended the Government's $2.3 billion purchase of Poseidon aircraft as an upgrade that will prevent existing military aircraft "plumeting out of the sky" and stop New Zealand "bludging on others all the time" in military operations.

Speaking on TVNZ1's Breakfast today the Acting Prime Minister also denied the purchase of the "submarine killing" Poseidon aircraft did not mark a transition from a New Zealand defensive military strategy to an offensive strategy.

"That's not correct. The previous utilities that we're using right now have that capability as well," Mr Peters said.

"What we're doing of course is ensuring that we are going to make the replacement changes as soon as we possibly can so that one doesn't go plummeting out of the sky at great loss to New Zealand."

The NZ First leader said all the Government has done in the purchase is "upgrade equipment that we've had around for some cases 50 years" and the $2.3 billion cost of the aircrafts would be spread over the next 35-years.

Mr Peters was also open about the fact New Zealand has "always chosen sides" in the US-China conflict, by the purchase of the US made Boeing Poseidon aircraft.

Mr Peters also denied New Zealand was eroding trust with our major trading partner, China, in the defence spend.

"Look, the Chinese ambassador made a statement the other day, and if I'm to read it correctly she is saying very clearly on behalf of her country that they don't engage in those sorts of practices, so I think the reaction for the media in this country has been some what over-empahsised when it comes to China's reaction."

The Acting PM has spoken about the Government’s huge defence spend on Poseidon aircraft. Source: Breakfast


Morning commute traffic headaches after crash north of Auckland

A crash south of Warkworth is causing heading for motorists on the commute into Auckland today.

The crash happened between at Pohuehue Viaduct on State Highway One.

NZTA advise motorists to delay their journey or allow extra time for delays.

Police car generic.
Police car generic. Source: 1 NEWS