Residents campaign for return of Mt Roskill cross

March 6, 2019

Residents campaign for return of Mt Roskill cross

Campaign organizers Fonoti Luke Gates, Ella Kumar, Jonathan Subritzky, and Peter Potatau at the Mt Roskill summit. Photo credit: Jonathan Subritzky.

Auckland residents are campaigning for the return of a wooden cross to Puketāpapa/Mt Roskill’s summit where it stood for 60 years.

Since being removed in 2015 after a decision by the Tūpuna Maunga Authority, the cross has been re-erected for some religious occasions, but will not return this year.

Now more than 1000 locals have signed a petition to reinstate the cross because of its significance to the community.

Jonathan Subritzky, one of the campaign organizers, says the community’s support is more than about religious affiliation.

“It is an important issue for people in Mt Roskill.”

“It does have its origins in the Christian celebration, but it has taken on a broader meaning, and we want to keep that.”

The Tūpuna Maunga Authority was established in 2014 to co-govern Auckland’s mountains with the council, and they took responsibility for enhancing the natural landscapes, which includes removing manmade structures such as the wooden cross.

Authority chair Paul Majurey says they have been “made aware of a current petition to return the cross” and that they will respond to the organisers once their petition process is complete.

Ed Karlsen, the pastor of Mt Roskill Baptist Church, says while he would like the cross back, he also commends the authority’s vision to restore the landscape of the mountains.

“It’s a historic thing, it’s been there for a long time, and we would appreciate the cross to be reinstated.”

The petition is currently close to 1,5000 signatures after two weeks of being active.

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