The Napier City Council has now allowed three options to be made available for consultation and while my contributions as an adviser have been acknowledged their extent was limited and need to be clarified.
Assistance with the design brief was limited and it is noted that some of those requirements have not been met in the Napier City Council proposed garden memorial — there was no consultation on the garden proposal.
The Ministry of Culture and Heritage was consulted by council officers — the response from the ministry appears to be to specific questions, not related to heritage and conservation issues.
I was not invited to participate.
The ministry could not have been informed of the history and original plans of 1952 to 1957.
If the ministry officers had been given that information and had the true situation explained to them the ministry would be bound to report in terms of the guidelines set out in the ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites) New Zealand Charter, which was revised in 2010, for the conservation of places of cultural heritage value.
The ministry has failed to give heritage issues the consideration of at least to request further information within the guidelines and as recommended by the war memorial trust and ICOMOS.
The ministry appeared to take the view that this was a new memorial, whereas Heritage New Zealand had agreed with my view that the Roll of Honour and Eternal Flame should be reinstated within the guidelines of the War Memorial Trust and ICOMOS.
It has failed to address fundamental issues.
This may be to some extent excused due to the inadequate information provided during consultation and without the benefit of my comments as an affected party.
The consultation process has not been as effective as it should be for this sensitive project.
It is hoped that the process can be improved in the future.
Of the options: the garden option is quite unsuited for this purpose — the attractive presentation focuses on the views from the Sound Shell and fountain.
It only emphasises the criticisms reported to council and others in the earlier report (October 17).
There are many fundamental design problems and which do nothing to improve the architectural landscape of the Marine Parade.
This concept lacks the vision for the memorial to be more than a landscaped cemetery.
The concept requires is for the vision to properly acknowledge the significant events of two world wars and this option for me, fails to do that.
Option three, the indoor option has highlighted the need for a collection area for memorabilia and display if there were to be no secure covered contemplation area.
The proposal to house the plaques for World War I and World War II inside is not supported for two reasons.
Firstly, the preferred location at all times from 1957 was outside the building and secondly the location nominated is not appropriate for such significant events as two world wars.
This proposal, for me, does not contribute or enhance the architectural features of Marine Parade nor does it recover the integrity of the 1957 memorial other than reinstatement of some windows.
However, the forecourt option is a vision that aims to respect the prominence of the Roll of Honour and flame in the original 1957 design, which was outside and prominent as the visitor approached the War Memorial.
I believe this vision also achieves the providing of a sheltered place for contemplation and viewing of displays selected from memorabilia for their compelling interest and educational value, as well as both visually and physically link and reunite the Roll of Honour and contemplation area to the original 1957 Memorial Hall as would be recommended by ICOMOS and other guidelines.
The dome and Spire of Peace would be a visual point of interest in the landscape and a reminder that our aim should be always to achieve peace without the horrors of war.
* Guy Natusch is a World War II veteran, heritage adviser, retired architect and designer of the original War Memorial.