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  • Writer's pictureGrant McLachlan

Matakana War Memorial Heritage Application

The Matakana War Memorial in 1982.

I was fascinated by the dedication of Matakana local and friend Adrienne Miller to restore graves at the Matakana Cemetery. She also helped organize the annual ANZAC Day ceremonies, school programmes, and information panels at the Matakana War Memorial monument.

Familiar with my military history research and town planning background, Adrienne asked me for help to nominate the monument for heritage status. I accepted the challenge.

To my shock, the council held very little information on the monument. The council relied on a local historian who thought that the statue was a concrete mould that was second hand from Thames!

We had to research from scratch. Combing through old newspapers, surveys, memoirs, documents, and family histories, we realised that we needed to populate the council with the correct information so that previous mistakes wouldn't be repeated. You'd be shocked who wanted the monument relocated and how the decision was made.

We lodged a 461-page application, including 303 pages of appendices. I even put together a Wikipedia page for the sculptor, William Henry Feldon, for King George V statues, and for the monument itself.

Despite the uniqueness of the monument and its significance, due to the number of inappropriate changes made to the monument, the monument received a Category II heritage listing. Here is the news article.

We're satisfied that Heritage New Zealand are a stop-gap should anyone propose altering the monument in the future. Now, the focus is to restore the monument to its original condition.

To view a description of the monument and its history, please download this document:

Download PDF • 10.67MB

For the Appendices that supported the application, please download this document:

Download PDF • 76.31MB


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