Church to dig up religious garden

TESSA JOHNSTONE
Last updated 10:05 22/03/2014
Porirua church group
CAMERON BURNELL/FAIRFAX NZ

LIVING ON A PRAYER: Church group members senior pastor Kitiona Kereti, Simotu Williams, Papalii Tanielu and Fata Meafou.

Relevant offers

Porirua

Police name machete-wielding man killed by officer in Porirua Nine months later, Porirua and Upper Hutt police stations still closed at weekends Whitby man Clifford Matthews stops weekly piano sessions after 38 years The nose knows: council says suburbs smell is vegetation but residents blame cows Early memories of growing up in Elsdon, Porirua in the 1950s Porirua fighter Newtown Sythong off to Taekwondo World Championships The cupboard was bare: community book cupboard stolen, found, returned Porirua's old hospital site set to be turned into 800 houses Two dresses, no shoes: Wellington couple Karen Tonks and John Gilbert off to the Oscars Cobb & Co restaurant set to open in Porirua, a project backed by former mayor Nick Leggett

A church group who built a "prayer mountain" on a piece of land they did not own or lease have opted to dismantle the Garden of Eden themselves.

Bread of Life Multicultural Worship Centre members cleared a disused parcel of land in Porirua opposite their church of scrub and created a guided walk, including a fenced lookout point and a large gateway welcoming people to Mt Zion Prayer Mountain, where they could meditate, pray and exercise.

The Rauta Cres land is part of the old Kenepuru Hospital grounds, and is part of the Ngati Toa deed of settlement to be signed later this year.

Property managers Colliers International asked the group to take down the garden after a complaint from a member of the public and the Ministry of Justice said there were health and safety concerns about the garden.

Despite appeals to local politicians and Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson, the group was given until 4pm yesterday to take it down or contractors would be called into do it at the church's expense.

Spokesman Papalii Tanielu said it was a difficult decision to dismantle the garden and the mood was very solemn.

"In the end we've respected the minister's decision to dismantle it . . . It was a very good project for Christians but also for people who wanted to use it for other reasons."

Mr Tanielu said he had hoped fairness and commonsense would prevail, but accepted the outcome for now and hoped to talk about it again when ownership of the land changed later this year.

Ad Feedback

- The Dominion Post

Special offers
Opinion poll

How many coffees do you have a day?

5 or even more

3-4

2

1

Anything from 1-5.

Don't touch the stuff.

Vote Result

Related story: Coffee as we know it at risk of dying

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content