War memorial heads off for some TLC

Published: 13 September 2023

A specialist stonemason has this week disassembled the Boer War Memorial for restoration and it will be relocated to Baring Square West within the next six weeks.

Relocating the memorial, which was built in 1903 to honour those who served in the conflict and bears the names of six fallen soldiers, is part of a $2.45 million redevelopment of Baring Square East.

Infrastructure and Open Spaces Group Manager Neil McCann said the stonemason had used special diamond cutting equipment to separate the memorial into four layers.

“Those layers were taken off site to be cleaned and restored, and then the memorial will be reassembled at Baring Square West and the layers joined together with carbon pins. The pins ensure the memorial can withstand earthquakes in the future.”

Work at the new site will begin next week, when the foundations for the new concrete plinth are poured. The memorial will be placed on the new plinth, which will have a new bluestone base stone.

The work should be finished in time for Armistice Day celebrations on 11 November.

The memorial relocation work is being funded by a $150,000 grant received by Council as part of the Three Waters Better Off funding package.

Heritage expert Arlene Baird was onsite on Tuesday to ensure each layer was delicately removed by crane and placed on the transporter.

“The stonemason wrapped and strapped the different layers so they could be carefully lifted and transported to the workshop.

“He is also taking the opportunity to remove a shadow on part of the memorial that had previously been graffitied and cleaned.

This means the memorial will be not only stronger and more quake-proof, but it will look a lot better.”

Contractors are continuing to work on other parts of Baring Square East, and are creating new paths around the arbours (whalebones) and putting down new grass and plants. The platforms for new seating are also being installed.

Mr McCann said work was progressing well, thanks to some good weather and people would soon see plants and grass growing once again in the square.

“The area around the fountains has also been renovated and the whole space will be a welcoming spot and ideal forecourt to Te Whare Whakatere, the new library and civic centre.”

Share this article

More News

View all news