Len Brown apologises to Fukuoka

Auckland mayor Len Brown has repeated an apology he made to a Japanese city after a friendship garden gifted by the city to Auckland Zoo was demolished.

Brown first apologised to the mayor of Fukuoka, Soichiro Takashima, in January after a delegation from Friends of the Fukuoka Friendship Garden asked to speak at a full council meeting about their concerns.
He denied them speaking rights which would have allowed them to air their disapproval about the removal of the garden, but moved a motion that the council apologise to the mayor and people of the city.

A mayoral spokesman said the mayor had repeated the apology to the crowd at a Japan Day event at the ASB Showgrounds today, as promised at the earlier council meeting.

The mayor told assembled diplomats and parliamentarians that although there had been an agreement between Auckland and Fukuoka over the dismantling of the garden the process could have been handled better.

The garden, a gift from Fukuoka 25 years ago, was removed to make way for an enclosure for a breeding programme for endangered Tasmanian Devils.