For Napier city councillor Tony Jeffery the Roll of Honour and eternal flame which once stood in the entrance foyer of the former War Memorial Conference Centre has special meaning.

His uncle, and his father Clyde's only brother, has his name on the plaque of those who died during war.

Maurice Jeffery was a navigator aboard a bomber with 119 Squadron RAF.

The aircraft was struck by lightning during a storm and crashed into the Atlantic - the body of the 28 year-old airman, who was one of six aboard, was never recovered.


"I know it hit the family very hard," Mr Jeffery said.

In discussing the removal and present storage of the Roll of Honour plaques and memorial flame, he steered from his council chair and gave his personal view, as a family member of one of those on the roll.

He said the changes to the layout of the refurbished conference centre made him concerned about how the memorials could be laid there.

"It is important how they are treated and we have to find a respectful place - I think it is up to the people to decide where to put the memorial."

Mr Jeffery said he had not heard from other families with a connection, through a name upon it, to the siting of the memorial.

It had to be sited somewhere with good access and treated with respect, and having said that added that the council was about listening to people.

"And they have changed their minds before."

As for a return to the original waterfront site he simply said "you could not rule that out".

He said if families came forward and felt strongly about the issue and wanted it back there it would certainly be looked at.

His personal view, as the nephew of Maurice Jeffery, was that it needed to be in a fitting place - a respectful and accessible place and near Memorial Square, which was a long-standing memorial to those who made the ultimate sacrifice, would be acceptable to his family.

"They all have to be remembered."

For the man who designed the original War Memorial Hall, Guy Natusch, names on appropriately placed memorials meant so much, to so many.

In his families there had been two killed and four wounded at war, and while their names were on memorials in other centres, every time he visited the Napier memorial site and saw the names there he thought of them.

"It is not just for those who are there upon it - it makes you think of your own.

"When this was removed it did upset me - the city council has failed miserably."