Stop the Hamilton Monument without public approval.
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Again the residents of Hamilton city and the greater Waikato region are being asked to stump up with a large amount of their hard earned dollars for a small group of private entrepreneurs prior to the payers having had an informed debate and referendum. This petition is to seek the legal number of residents to call upon our elected representatives to organise such a referendum to approve the concept, management, location, before a sod of earth is turned and one dollar of public funds recently quoted as totalling $55 million from a total outlay of $73 million (latest guestimate).
The Founders Theatre has a seating arrangement of 1400 and has served the city well with continual upgrades. It is in the perfect location for a cultural and social centre with easy access, safety and parking. Unfortunately it appears those charged with responsibility for maintaining our community assets have been neglectful and has been closed with no action for over 12 months. It would appear with the private monument group backed by our employed bureaucracy have had their own agenda.
The proposal to destroy the green belt of the city, create a large edifice to egos on totally unreliable unstable soil, with no foundation to support such a monument since a volcano and earthquake 2600 years ago deposited tonnes of pumice from Lake Taupo on the banks of the Waikato River. This gave name to the village of Kirikiriroa - the long white beach.
Those like myself born and bred in the growing city for 70 years have seen the folly of some of the decision to build close to the river bank of much smaller and lighter constructions than that proposed. The Sonning Girls Hostel of HGHS is the first I recall, the scars still there to be seen Ms Hodgson has recently written how her riverside section was washed away, requiring $250,000 of insurance to remedy and make her home reasonably secure for the meantime, Repeated collapses and closure of the wonderful river walkway are further testament. We can only watch the future safety of the IBIS Hotel and the soon to be evacuated IRD building.
Nature in these times of climatic change and untimely earthquakes give no latitude or redemption to those who would gamble especially with other's money without those involved first having a say by referendum.
I was privileged to hear Emeritus Professor (late) John McCraw the founder of the Earth Science Faculty at University of Waikato and a long time Hamilton resident talk on five at least occasions of the soil structure and its fragility dating back 26000 years to the original Taupo Volcano, the second largest mankind has ever known. The second one 2000 years ago brought so much pumice and water down the Mangakino Stream it cut a new swathe through the Waikato Valley dumping it all on the current riverbanks. The amount to be removed to reach solid soil in the proposed site to each any solid ground will change the environment and aesthetic beauty of the city for ever simply I contend to further the selfish greed of a few proponents. Professor McCraw's extensive research of this is readily available at the Earth science faculty and his books are accessible.
Sadly the city under the legislation currently under which our Local Government acts has suffered in recent times a number of these ill thought, destructive entrepreneurial schemes to benefit a few without the proper debate and investigation costing the city and regions residents hundreds of millions of their hard earned dollars starting with Kiwi Air, the V8 street race, Claudelands Event Centre and the gifting of prime inner city land housing our most vulnerable citizens.
I earnestly request your support in signing this petition including registered electoral residents in order that our elected representatives give us this basic democratic right so many of our forefathers fought for. Now is the time.
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