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Ask Phoebe: No peace for war memorial statue

By Phoebe Falconer

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At the intersection of Wakefield and Symonds Sts is a small park with a war memorial, I think to commemorate the 19th century New Zealand wars. Until recently the memorial included a woman holding a draped flag but now she's gone and only the plinth remains. Has she been stolen, or has she been removed for another reason? Russell Ogilvy, Auckland.

The poor woman had to be removed in March, because vandals bent her so far back that her ankle snapped and the mounting pins were damaged.

The good news is that repairs are almost finished, and she should be restored to us in the next week or so.

The memorial was installed in Wakefield St in 1920, with the help of the Victoria League. The inscription reads, "In memory of the brave men belonging to the Imperial and Colonial forces and the friendly Maoris who gave their lives for the country during the New Zealand Wars 1845-1872.

"Through war they won the peace we know".

In 1981 the statue was tarred and feathered, and later the same year, she was beheaded. It stayed in storage for almost 20 years until the head could be reconstructed from old photos.

The branch in the statue's hand, seen in this 1934 photo, was precariously mounted, and no longer exists.

Travelling south on the Auckland Harbour Bridge you pass under a structure that carries cameras pointing down at approximately a 45 degree angle. What are they looking at, at such a steep angle? Warrant of Fitness certificates? COFs? Women's legs? Allan Smith, Auckland.

Oh, don't tempt me. But it's nothing so salacious, I'm afraid. The cameras monitor traffic flow over the bridge, and also help staff keep an eye out for breakdowns, accidents and the like.

A couple of times recently we have been travelling south from the North Shore, planning to exit at the Port/Northwestern Motorway offramp, only to find when we took this offramp that the Port link was closed. As there was no notification of this closure, we had no choice but to take the Northwestern to Western Springs/St Lukes, and then double back.

As it happens, the Gillies Ave exit is not available either, so drivers must travel as far as the Market Rd exit.

If there was a sign before the Port/NW Motorway exit indicating that it was not open, motorists could take the Cook St exit, or go down the Southern Motorway, without the detour on the Northwestern. Owen Vaughan, Manukau, and Murray Oliver, Auckland.

The Port exit will be closed every night until the beginning of August so scaffolding work on Grafton Bridge can be finished. A notice advising motorists of this is on the overhead gantry just before the Onewa Rd onramp.

However, the NZ Transport Agency takes your point, gentlemen, and is looking for a safe spot where it can put another message on the motorway before the Fanshawe St offramp.

You also need to be aware that as part of the Newmarket Viaduct replacement project, the Gillies Ave offramp southbound will be closed overnight for the next three months, so the layout of the ramp can be altered.

The light phasing at the intersection of Wyndham St and Albert St has been changed. The pedestrian lights and the vehicular lights on Albert St have been staggered, so motorists travelling on Wyndham St get a decent crackat crossing Albert St or turning on to it, instead of having to wait for dawdlers on the pedestrian crossing.

Pedestrians, though, need to keep a watchful eye on their particular set of lights.

- NZ Herald

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