7 April, 2018
Message from the NZ Chinese Association
On Saturday 7 April, the NZ Chinese Association (NZCA) came to Rawene to pay respects at
the former memorial building site and apologise in person to the residents of Rawene. We
also wanted to see and hear what people thought about the proposed new site. It was our privilege to meet so many of you on Saturday. Thank you for generously giving up your Saturday afternoon to come, share views, and mix and mingle. It was such a positive
experience for us to talk with you, and we really valued your thoughts. Many of you will have heard about the meeting already, but for us the main result was the bridges built between all the different people involved. It was great to hear the views expressed about the memorial and proposed new site. Our previous consultations had quite a bit of feedback, largely supportive. On Saturday we heard more views, including concerns about the consultation process, suitability of the cemetery area (drainage, proximity to graves, assurance regarding supervision of building and parking), and respect for Rawene surroundings / size of the memorial. Some of these, such as drainage and parking are Council-related issues, and we understand they have thoughts about this. As to our future process for consultation, we’ll just need to find out from Council what the next steps are. Just to let you know, we have already manufactured the elements of the memorial, so we are not keen to do a redesign, but we can assure you NZCA will absolutely be supervising any digging.
The great thing to come out of the meeting was the idea for a committee to be formed with
Council, community board members and local community representatives. This will help
with communications and we hope it will help ensure everybody knows who is responsible
for doing what. It will also be easier for NZCA because we’ll have a central point of contact
for all. It is our dearest wish to have this memorial for our ancestors completed and to
acknowledge our shared history with the people of the Hokianga. We feel like this meeting
has been a great step forward, and we hope our presence on Saturday reflects our
commitment to this process. Wishing all in Rawene well and looking forward to our next
meeting with one and all.
Our grateful thanks to Rawene kaumatua Steve Morunga, who has worked so hard for all
communities involved, Ted Wihongi from the Far North District Council who could
answer many of our questions, and Emma, Rob, Louis and Shaun of the Community Board.
Also, to Dawn and Andries for doing the hall set up and tea and coffee, and to Jack and Rita
Mokaraka who did a beautiful hangi as a fundraiser for the golf club. And to all the willing
helpers who helped make the day possible. Thank you.
If anyone would like to know further information, please look up our
Website www.ventnor.nz, and email us if you would like to receive update emailsNZCA@NZchinese.org.nz