Auckland's friendship garden to be rebuilt

Auckland's controversial Fukuoka Friendship Garden may be reinstalled in Western Springs Park, not far from its original location at the zoo.
An official report to tomorrow's meeting of the council's Park, Recreation and Sports committee recommends the garden be reinstated at a cost of more than $1m.
The garden, a gift from Japanese city Fukuoka to Auckland Zoo 25 years ago, was removed earlier this year to make way for a breeding programme for endangered Tasmanian devils.
Auckland's Japanese community strongly opposed the removal and Mayor Len Brown apologised to the city for the demolition.
The garden was originally designed and built by volunteers who travelled from sister-city Fukuoka and cost around $359,999-$400,000. Most of the material was gifted by Fukuoka City.
The estimated cost of the new garden was $1,042,000 and would be built over a two-year timeframe.
The design phase was estimated to cost $269,999 - including input from the Fukuoka Greenery Department, involvement of a Japanese landscape architect and a New Zealand landscape architect who would travel between Fukuoka and Auckland.
Physical work was estimated to cost $773,000. This would include a water feature, viewing platform, fencing of the site, a decorative entrance, utility connections, planting and paths.
Operational costs have been assessed at $75,000 per year.
Auckland's sister city relationship with Fukuoka City will commemorate its 30th anniversary in 2016.
The report suggests it would be a fitting gesture for the Friendship Garden to be re-established by this time