Korean park plan advances

JESS ETHERIDGE
Last updated 05:00 22/01/2013
Ben Lee
JESS ETHERIDGE

DEDICATION: Korean Garden Trust executive director Ben Lee at Takapuna’s Barrys Pt Reserve where the group plans to build a Korean War Monument and a 1.5ha garden complex.

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Korean immigrants wanting to give back to the North Shore community hope to begin work on a traditional garden in Takapuna in a few months.

Korean Garden Trust executive director Ben Lee says the group has submitted a second proposal to Auckland Council after it was asked for more information.

From there, it will apply for a licence to occupy the 1.5 hectare Barrys Point Reserve land, Mr Lee says.

The garden at Barrys Pt Reserve was approved by the former North Shore City Council.

Mr Lee, who moved to New Zealand from Seoul, South Korea in 1994, began a volunteer group which tended to weeds and cleaned the reserve.

"Over that time I feel we have had many benefits and favours from this community so I decided to return something back to this local community."

The garden, which will represent Korean culture and history, will be divided into three phases of construction, Mr Lee says.

The road entry and New Zealand Korean Veterans Association park will be completed in the first phase.

If the licence to occupy is granted this year construction on the memorial will begin as soon as possible, he says.

Stage two would begin in three years and the garden would be completed by 2019.

"It will be an intercultural co-operation between New Zealand local community and the Korean community."

Plans to ship a rock from South Korea for the veterans section cost too much, Mr Lee says.

But a large rock from Great Barrier Island has been donated by a war veteran.

"They sacrificed their youth and life for Korea 60 years ago, so we will construct that garden," he says.

Two pavillions, a pond, bridge, sculpture park and an open-air theatre for 700 people will be built.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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