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Women's Suffrage Memorial causing a stir

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New Zealand News | Friday April 12 2013 12:11

Women's Suffrage Memorial causing a stir

There is a call for a constructive dialogue about what should be done with the Women's Suffrage Memorial in central Auckland.

Auckland Council is proposing to spend $1 million on a new stairway for Khartoum Square, which would keep the memorial where it is.

But Heart of the City business association chief executive Alex Swney says we should not be bound by its current configuration, which is limiting access to the Auckland Art Gallery after a $113 million dollar upgrade.

"We've got a spectacular art gallery there, but its front door is very tawdry."

Alex Swney says spending $1 million without addressing it properly is a waste of time.

He says the memorial may be able to stay in the square, or could be moved somewhere else.

But National Council of Women Auckland branch acting president Julie Fairey says the memorial was designed and made specifically for that location.

"The view of the artist, as I understand it, is that to move it is actually impractical, and it will in a very real sense destroy the tiles."

Julie Fairey says the memorial has extra significance because it was built as part of a series.

"It was part of a series of memorials put in civic places around New Zealand to celebrate the hundredth anniversary of suffrage."

Julie Fairey says the National Council is looking at putting heritage protection on the memorial.

Photo: the Auckland Art Gallery / Getty Images

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