Terraces mooted for Anzac venue

ALANA DIXON
Last updated 05:00 09/10/2012

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Problems seeing the Invercargill Anzac Day service could be a thing of the past, if a suggestion at a city council meeting yesterday gains traction.

At the council's infrastructure and services committee meeting, when discussing the release of the draft review of the town belt management plan, councillor Norman Elder said he felt the sheer number of people now attending the Anzac Day memorial service at the Dee St cenotaph meant it was worth discussing terraces again.

He knew the possibility of creating amphitheatre-like terraces around the cenotaph had been raised before, but suggested council reconsider the idea.

"At the moment it's completely flat, and it doesn't matter whether you're short or tall - you're not going to see much," he said.

Crowds at the dawn service have continued to swell in recent years.

More than 2000 gathered at the cenotaph on April 25 this year, with many struggling to see or hear - a problem that prompted them to write letters to the editor and make submissions to the council's long-term plan.

After this year's service, Invercargill man Lindsay Frewen - mayor Tim Shadbolt's driver to the event - asked the council to look at what could be done, possibly as part of the inner-city upgrade.

Other options raised in the past have included blocking off one side of nearby State Highway 1, along Dee St, and creating a separate child-focused service.

Yesterday council works and services director Cameron McIntosh said he had received submissions earlier in the year suggesting temporary seating be installed at the cenotaph for the memorial service, while councillor Carolyn Dean, who chaired the meeting, said she also thought investigating standing or seating options was worth looking into.

Council parks manager Robin Pagan said community groups had said that the area was no longer big enough to accommodate all who attended the dawn service.

However, the council had not had enough information to include the suggestion when it released the draft town belt reserve management plan for public consultation, he said.

"It's very difficult to put something in [the plan] without a concept." It was "not a major" to later propose an amendment to the draft plan, and call for submissions, once the council had a more concrete concept in place, Mr Pagan said.

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