Cook Plaza redevelopment plans approved
Council has approved a draft concept plan for the Cook Plaza redevelopment on Titirangi, including the removal of the ‘Captain Cook’ replica statue.
The Future Tairawhiti committee received a report outlining the Titirangi Summit redevelopment and approved the recommendation that the statue be held with the Tairawhiti Museum to display.
The Titirangi summit redevelopment is a joint partnership with Ngati Oneone, with the aim of creating an improved visitor arrival area as part of the Tairawhiti Navigations programme.
The Cooks Plaza will be upgraded so iwi stories and cultural design elements can be shared from this significant location.
It includes new paving to create an aesthetic and safe gathering space. The brick curved wall, erected when the plaza was created as part of the 1969 Bicentenary Commemoration of Cook arrival, will be removed, but the bricks possibly retained to be incorporated in new seating.
Ngati Oneone have been supportive that the Cook replica be removed and replaced with a new symbol that allows for wider interpretation of Te Tairawhiti.
While the statue is not a true replica of Cook, it has an interesting story that should be shared. Tairawhiti Museum has given its support to display the statue.
Further community engagement is planned around renaming the Cook Plaza site and other key areas on the maunga, including the summit and walking tracks.
The Cook Plaza Upgrade will cost between $150K - $200k and is fully funded through the Tourism Infrastructure Fund.