It was an honour to be able to fill in for the Mayor at the dawn blessing ceremony of the Mapua Drive gateway sculpture. The hard work of many people in the community, especially those associated with the Coastal Initative Group has resulted in some striking sculptures, that will be the talk of town for many years to come. The children from the Mapua School who participated in the design process will undoubtedly take great pride in pointing out their contribution to future generations.
With two sculptures now in place the Coastal Initative Group with the help of NMIT students will turn their attention to the remaining sculptures planned for the region. once completed they will provide a real sense of identity for the community and an iconic statement for the Tasman region.
It was good to participate in a celebration in a community devistated by recent weather events. The sculpture serves as a reminder of the greater good that we can achieve when we all work together. A lesson learned from my first term on the council about how much more is achieved in communities working together rather than what is (or is not) achieved in communities with divided interests.
It is also good to have some positive news to publish on my blog – I have been accused of being to negative in the past.
For those who requested a copy, my two minute speech at the blessing ceremony follows. I was under instruction to be brief!
On behalf of TDC I would like to thank The Coastal Initiative Group, the Mapua school, and the residents and associations of the Ruby Coast for their collaborative efforts and great endurance to achieve such a monumental task.
These striking monuments have already become iconically Tasman as those of you who receive a copy of the Tasman District Council’s Long Term Plan consultation document will see that the first of these gateway monuments features prominently on the cover.
People have been using signs and markers since the beginning of time. It was probably the Romans that really established the sign industry and even today you will recognise some of the signage that dates back 2000 years such as the red and white barber pole, those pesky shop signs that you trip over on the footpath, and the mile marker signs that dotted the highways.
Then came directional signs at intersections. With the advent of the bicycle more signs were required to control these fast-moving silent machines, then came the automobile and lots more roadside signage.
Likewise, these stunning monuments will serve as signs for the visitors to the Ruby Coast, so that they will know where to turn off the highway. And the monuments will serve as signs to these visitors to let them know that they are entering somewhere special, a place with a unique identity, a place of discovery.
But these gateway monuments will also serve as signs to the residents of the Ruby Coast. Signs that you will see on your way as you journey out into the rest of the world. Signs to remind you to speed up – because life outside your little slice of paradise travels at a faster pace.
More importantly the signs will serve as reminders when you return that you are returning home. Not just home to your house, but home to your community. And as we have experienced in recent weeks community is what it is all about when tragedy strikes, when friends and neighbours rally together to support one another. I hope that community is also important as a celebration in the good times. And that these monuments stand as a testimony of what can be achieved when we all work together.
So it is with great honour and respect that I accept the responsibility of caretaker of this iconic Ruby Coast gateway monument on behalf of the Mayor and the Tasman District Council.