Wayne Thompson is a NZ Herald reporter.

Life-size tribute to 'Robbie' planned for Aotea Square

By WAYNE THOMPSON

A life-size bronze statue of former Auckland mayor Sir Dove-Myer Robinson - known to a generation of New Zealanders simply as "Robbie"- is being planned for Aotea Square.

The move to raise about $80,000 in public donations to commission a statue was announced yesterday by Sir Dove-Myer's niece, Dame Barbara Goodman, who was his mayoress and is still a city councillor.

"Robbie said he never wanted a statue of himself and we are going against his wishes. But it's important to mark, for future generations, his service as the city's outstanding mayor."

Sir Dove-Myer died in 1989 after being Mayor of Auckland for six terms from 1959-65 and 1968-80. He was also a founder of the Auckland Regional Authority (now council) in 1968.

A tireless campaigner for a rapid transit scheme and cleaning up the Waitemata Harbour, he became a nationally and internationally known figurehead of Auckland.

Dame Barbara said the Auckland Central Area Arts Committee had approved a steering committee starting to seek public donations.

Proposals had been invited from two sculptors, Toby Twiss, of Auckland, and England-based Anthony Stones.

The winning design would be announced in June and work completed by October this year.

The council in 1981 commemorated Sir Dove-Myer's services to Auckland by renaming Parnell Park after him.

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