Too many memorials says council

The family of one of Queenstown's founding fathers has had their proposal for a memorial to be erected in one of the resort's most scenic spots turned down.

The decision to turn down a 1.8-metre stone slab memorial to Richard Cogar Bryant, which would have been unveiled at a Bryant family reunion to mark 150 years of continuously living in the Wakatipu at Labour Weekend, was made by the Queenstown Lakes District Council community services committee yesterday.

The monument was proposed to be placed at the end of the Queenstown Gardens peninsula. The gardens now contain sanctioned memorials to early explorers Captain Scott, Haki Te Kauru and William Rees, as well as some memorial plaques placed without formal approval.

In a report to the committee, council parks manager Gordon Bailey said the mounting numbers of memorials in the gardens had "the potential to transform the character of the gardens from a public garden to a cemetery, and it is considered the capacity ... to accommodate further memorials has been reached."

Bryant family spokesman Richard Bryant said yesterday that he was disappointed with the decision – but had a backup plan.

"We are totally disillusioned," he said. "The committee's decision seems to have been based on an assumption that a memorial should be erected at Kinloch, because there is more family history there. But there were memorials placed there for the family's 125th anniversary, and the Department of Conservation won't let us place any more.

"The reality is that Queenstown is the future of this family and our ancestor was a major figure in its past, so we will apply to have the same memorial erected in St Omer Park."

Mr Bailey inspected the Sunshine Bay to Queenstown Bay Foreshore Management Plan yesterday and said it did not specifically include any mention of memorials, or reaching a saturation point of memorials.

Therefore, when the committee considered a request to erect a monument in St Omer Park, they would be doing so with fewer restrictions than in Queenstown Gardens, Mr Bailey said.

The Southland Times