Board to discuss Te Anau park name

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THE results of public consultation which aimed to find a solution to the controversial naming of a Te Anau park are in.

In 2018, after receiving a request from a member of the public, Te Anau Community Board decided to name the reserve in the town’s Fergus Square in honour of long-serving Southland mayor Frana Cardno.

Mrs Cardno was mayor from 1992 until 2013 and died in 2015.

The board decided to not fully consult the public on the idea.

A report for the meeting in which this was decided states, if it were to have gone out for consultation, it would have been seen as a bureaucratic process which would not change the outcome.

It states one of the disadvantages of agreeing to name the park Cardno Reserve was there could be some people in the community who would dislike the decision.

There was opposition, so the Southland District Council carried out a three-week survey from the end of April to gauge the views of the community.

The results of this were discussed at a Fiordland Community Board meeting after the Southland Express went to print yesterday.

Of 321 responses, 69 wished it to be named Cardno Reserve, 199 wanted it named Fergus Square Park and 53 wanted something else.

Other name suggestions included leaving it unnamed, Mahana Park, George Senior Reserve and The Ferg.

Board chairwoman Sarah Greaney previously said the contention was mainly because several families were involved in clearing the reserve.

Some submitters suggested Mrs Cardno’s contribution be recognised by naming another reserve area or street, or even the library, given her involvement with it.

Eight people said memorial poles installed at the site should stay.

Six said they should be removed, and 27 thought they should be moved to a more appropriate location, such as near the library.

When the survey began, Southland District Mayor Gary Tong said the memorial was a stunning tribute.

“Frana’s commitment to her community and our district was unwavering and I believe it’s appropriate to honour her in this way.

“The memorial is designed so visitors and future generations will know the impact Frana had during her tenure. Careful decisions were made to ensure it fitted into the environment.”

Deputy mayor Ebel Kremer posted to social media before the survey was conducted that a decision was made, given the controversy, to remove the Cardno Reserve sign which had been installed.

More details will be in next week’s Southland Express.

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