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Erebus memorial causes neighbour dispute in Auckland

Wealthy residents campaign for memorial to 257 people killed in Antarctica plane disaster to be scrapped because they don’t want to be ‘reminded of death’

  • A memorial for the people who died in the Erebus plane crash is causing dispute 
  • Two women are leading the charge to have it moved somewhere else 
  • Memorial structure is 17-metre walkway with walls that raises five metres

A neighbourhood dispute has broken out over a memorial dedicated to hundreds of people who died in a plane disaster.

A community group in Auckland, New Zealand has opposed a planned memorial to the 257 people who died when a plane crashed into Mount Erebus in Antarctica in 1979.

Opponents say the 17-metre walkway at Dove-Myer Robinson Park in Auckland, New Zealand is ‘significant and dominant’.

Jo Malcolm, whose father-in-law was killed in the crash, said she didn’t want her daughter to be climbing trees in the park and be ‘reminded of death’.

‘You don’t throw a ball and you don’t drink a glass of wine next to the ‘grave’ – and I know it’s not actually the grave – but it’s the memorial of 257 people who have died,’ she told RNZ. 

A memorial for the people who died in the Erebus plane crash is causing dispute as two women argue it is ‘too dominant’ for the area. Model image pictured

The Erebus disaster happened on November 28, 1979, when a sightseeing plane from Auckland flew to Antarctica and crashed into the slopes of Mount Erebus. Crash site pictured

The Erebus disaster happened on November 28, 1979, when a sightseeing plane from Auckland flew to Antarctica and crashed into the slopes of Mount Erebus. Crash site pictured

A group called ‘Save Robbies Park’ has opposed the walkway due to its size and location.  

‘Green spaces are increasingly rare as our city intensifies. Many people from across our city use this park to breathe in fresh air and enjoy open spaces, their apartments do not offer,’ the group said in a Facebook post.

The women also don’t believe a park is an appropriate place to put the memorial.

Kathryn Carter, 55, lost her father Jim Collins in the crash and helped select another memorial – and she said this memorial is very specific to the crash.

‘They forget that people hurt, that there’s a lot of pain behind this. There were children who lost both parents. How can they look at what they’re doing and think it’s a good thing,’ she told RNZ.

She said people have defaced signs for the memorial and written horrible things on social media.

The Ministry of Culture and Heritage said they had gotten some complaints about the site but expressed concern about the frustration the delays were for the families of people who had died. 

Kathryn Carter, 55, lost her father Jim Collins in the crash and helped select another memorial - and she said this memorial is very specific to the crash. Model image pictured

Kathryn Carter, 55, lost her father Jim Collins in the crash and helped select another memorial – and she said this memorial is very specific to the crash. Model image pictured

Greg Gilpin, who was part of the rescue mission, told RNZ it is ‘disappointing’ to see the delays and said it was sad for the families to have to go through this. 

A decision about the memorial will be made on December 3. 

Daily Mail Australia has contacted Auckland Council and The Ministry of Culture and Heritage for comment.

WHAT WAS THE MOUNT EREBUS DISASTER? 

The Erebus disaster happened on November 28, 1979, when a sightseeing plane from Auckland flew to Antarctica and crashed into the slopes of Mount Erebus.

All 237 passengers and 20 crew on board were killed. 

A search mission confirmed the deaths.

There is debate over who or what is to blame over the crash.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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