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Knocked off his perch

posted 2 Jan 2015, 21:43 by Sandra Kirby
Today is our last full day with Simpsons at our Whanganui holiday.  We have managed to 7 of the 10 "must do" attractions - of the missing 3 one was children's playground and another the cycle trip up the river.  That really leaves only the museum off our likely list . . . 
Wanganui trivia - it has more war memorials than London 
We did walk through Motua Gardens today.  In 1995 this was the site of Maori occupation for over 2 months.  This protest site, like Bastion Point in Auckland, the site is remarkable for being v close to central town area and for the small site.   We saw the fountain where young toddler drowned - it was tiny.  
At one point during the occupation people knocked the head off the statue of John Ballance - the PM at the time of land confiscation/ purchase - depending on who is telling the story.

Rather than restore this statue the town built a new John Ballance statue - but he is seated so he can't be knocked down easily.  The plinth stands in the Gardens with no statue.
Here us what nzhistory.net says 
In February 1995 Te Rūnanga Pākaitore began a 79-day occupation of Moutoa Gardens that was intended to restore the mana of the Whanganui people over the site. The gardens had been established on or near the site of Pākaitore pā, a traditional place for trade before European settlement. Te Rūnanga Pākaitore claimed that it had been set aside from the purchase of Whanganui; the city denied this.

It was from Motua Gardens that Tariana Turia ( now Dame Tariana) launched her political career

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