The public unveiling of three Marine Parade sites which could house Napier's missing memorial items is set for next week.

This is the latest development in the saga around the items, and follows months of public outcry over the removal of the eternal flame, roll of honour plaques, and "war memorial" title from the Napier Conference Centre during its multimillion-dollar redevelopment.

Finding their new home has been the job of a War Memorial Project Group, which recently met for the third time to discuss the final three proposed sites - down from a possible 12.

It had been hoped the concepts for each possible location would be made public yesterday, however a council spokeswoman said the proposals were still being worked through and will be released next week.


The council has remained tight-lipped about details of the proposed sites, or what form the new memorial could take. However it has confirmed the three possible locations are all on Marine Parade between the Soundshell, and the Conference Centre.

In light of the furore around the items' removal this location was touted as a "better alternative" by Ronda Chrystal, who has spoken out about the memorial on behalf of her family.

Her grandfather, Ron Spriggs, was Napier's mayor from 1950 to 1956, when the War memorial was built. As Napier's oldest war veteran he also lit the eternal flame in 1995 when the centre was reopened.

The war memorial was "especially significant" to their family, as her grandfather's brother was killed in WWI, and was awarded the DCM medal.

She has advocated for the Eternal Fame and plaques to be returned "to their rightful place" at the centre - however council have said reinstating them in their old home is not on the "list of options".

Although this was disappointing, she said a location nearby on Marine Parade could be a better compromise than having them placed elsewhere. When council agreed to remove the items last year, the idea was floated to relocate them to Memorial Square at the bottom of Napier's CBD.

Having the items on Marine Parade "would be a better alternative, they need to be close by," she said.

"They need to be as close as they possibly can to their original place, otherwise the separation totally takes away the meaning."

Ms Chrystal said she also hoped the new memorial was respectful: "To our family, to most people these [items] are their graves. That's where they're remembered."

Wherever the new location is, it will have to meet certain criteria including safety of visitors, security of the items, the ability to host dawn services, able to be stumbled upon without making a specific journey, and having a degree of separation to enable a memorial place to be defined.

After the initial design concepts have been released the council is planning to hold a public meeting where the options can be discussed. A council spokeswoman said no date had been set for this meeting yet.

Although the items are unlikely to return to the conference centre, the council have said "the name of the conference centre is still on the table".

The council agreed to change the name of the building last year to avoid confusion with potential clients over the centre's purpose.