Gisborne Endeavour saga continues as ‘propositions’ for model roll in

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Gisborne’s Endeavour saga continues as “propositions” roll in to the community group which has been gifted back one of the controversial 200kg models.

A 200kg aluminium Endeavour model has been gifted back to the community group which fundraised for its build.

A 200kg aluminium Endeavour model has been gifted back to the community group which fundraised for its build. Photo: Liam Clayton / Gisborne Herald / LDR

Former councillor Malcolm MacLean, who co-organised a fundraiser to rebuild two Endeavour models, said he “can’t say too much at this stage” but confirmed they had received offers for the model.

“We’re just grouping together and just letting water settle,” he said.

“We’ve got some propositions being put to us. At this stage, we haven’t discussed it thoroughly, but there will be some further comments made as we make progress.”

It follows a decision by Gisborne district councillors on 12 November to seek permanent installation of one model at the museum, despite the museum’s director saying they did not want it.

When formally offered the model, the Tairāwhiti Museum director and trust refused, saying it was both “impractical” and “incompatible” with its policies.

The other model will be given to Te Aitanga a Hauiti and the Tolaga Bay community, who welcome the gift.

Tairāwhiti Museum turned down the Endeavour model saying it was "impractical" and "incompatible" with its policies.

Tairāwhiti Museum turned down the Endeavour model saying it was “impractical” and “incompatible” with its policies. Photo: LDR / Alice Angeloni

Staff told councillors before their decision that the community group would need consent if they wanted to put the model in a public space.

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“If it can be viewed by the public generally, and it’s a piece of art, the premise would be that you consult with the public,” a staffer said.

The first Endeavour models were commissioned by the Cook Bicentenary Committee in 1969 and not expected to last more than a year, but were refurbished and rebuilt multiple times over the next 40 years.

The models, which sat on large poles in Gladstone Road, were removed in 2016 after they became a health and safety concern.

Two years later, the council put $19,000 towards new models, and the community raised $20,000. The project was overseen by a group concerned with ensuring they were replaced.

After the build was completed, it was discovered the existing poles were not strong enough for the new models, and replacing the poles would cost $29,000.

Gisborne district councillors voted to offer one model to Tairāwhiti Museum at a meeting on 12 November, 2020.

Gisborne district councillors voted to offer one model to Tairāwhiti Museum at a meeting on 12 November, 2020. Photo: LDR / Alice Angeloni

The council voted in favour of reinstalling the models at the existing locations in May, but after much criticism, including a protest outside the council building, the decision was revoked.

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The council received more than 1000 submissions during community consultation over the future of the Endeavour models which ran during July and August.

The majority of submissions supported the models being re-erected, while tangata whenua said they did not support the installation of the models on their rohe.

Gisborne District Council chief executive Nedine Thatcher Swann said last week that she respected the museum’s position and had been in contact with the fundraising group advising them of the outcome.

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