The Museum of Transport and Technology in Auckland has put its hand up as a possible new location for the Erebus National Memorial.
A petition with more than 11,500 signatures calling for it to be moved from the planned location of Dove Myer Robinson Park in Parnell was presented to Parliament on Thursday.
The memorial is intended to pay tribute to the 237 passengers and 20 crew killed in an Air New Zealand flight that crashed into Mt Erebus in Antarctica in 1979.
In a statement, Motat chief executive and museum director Michael Frawley said it was aware of the petition.
"We have advised the Prime Minister's office that we would be delighted to discuss with the Ministry of Culture and Heritage, the Waitematā Local Board, families, Iwi and other stakeholders with a vested interest in the issue whether the Memorial should be located at Motat."
A spokesperson for Motat told the Herald they would be more than happy to house the memorial, and is letting the proposal go through due process.
The petition was started by Erebus family member Margaret Brough, daughter of Aubrey Brough who died on the flight.
It was handed over on the steps of Parliament by Brough to MP Shanan Halbert, chair of the petitions select committee on Thursday morning.
"My observation is that the majority of Erebus families are against this location. The selection is not in alignment with our wishes. Back in 2018 when the Prime Minister first told us, we were not supportive and made it well known.
"The whole approach is simply wrong. It faces the wrong way, is a busy picnic park across from the noisy Ports of Auckland, and not a space of solemnity necessary for a national memorial of this nature," Brough said.
Members of the community group, Protect Mataharehare, also travelled to Parliament to support Brough.
For 80 days members have occupied the pā site in a peaceful sit-in led by Dame Naida Glavish.
Glavish has publicly called out the consent process, saying it lacked integrity from the start due to there being no public consultation.
"This site was pre-determined by Wellington which went against its own independent advisers, Boffa Miskell, who clearly established that the site was not suitable.
"Despite that advice, the ministry proceeded to push it through Auckland Council where it was deemed to be non-notified. This led to Pouhere Taonga (Heritage New Zealand) not being included in the decision-making process."
She said the Māori cultural and heritage assessment of the site was deficient despite it being known as a pā site.
"For this to happen in 2021 and orchestrated by the ministry that was set up to protect it, is completely gobsmacking."
Other family members of those who died say they feel the same way about the location.
Gaynor Gallagher, who lost her parents and their first grandson in the crash, said, "As a family, we were not asked for our input when the memorial was being considered and, apart from the fact that so many years have passed, we are not in favour of the proposed site in Dove Myer Robinson Park in Parnell. The ministry's selection of this site is inappropriate because it has no particular connection with the accident."
Glavish said they suggest a puriri tree be planted in Parnell for families with a connection to that location.
For the memorial itself, she said there are many options to choose from including the Western Springs precinct adjacent to the Museum of Transport and Technology.
"There is also the option of locating the memorial near to the Antarctic Centre in Christchurch"
Tamsin Evans, Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage Deputy Chief Executive Delivery, said that the ministry agreed with the aim of the petition, protecting the heritage of Dove-Myer Robinson Park.
"However, there are two key claims underpinning the petition which are misleading: the petition states that the memorial will "pierce into the roots" of the notable pōhutukawa at the site – this is not true. The tree is not under threat: the tree will continue to be protected and the roots will not be harmed.
"The petition also falsely claims the site does not meet the wishes of the Erebus whānau. The site in Dove-Myer Robinson Park provides a peaceful, park-like space – which were clear preferences of Erebus families surveyed in mid-2018.
"This site was identified as the preferred option with the support of local hapū Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, and all proper processes have been followed.
"People wanting to know more about the National Erebus Memorial should visit the Ministry's website (www.mch.govt.nz) for correct information about the project.
"Our thoughts at this time are with the many family members we are in contact with, the vast majority of who support the memorial within Dove-Myer Robinson Park, and wish to see it built as soon as possible."