Respects paid to late Ahuriri councillor

Remembering an outstanding human . . . Waitaki district councillors and Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher remember the late Ahuriri ward councillor Ross McRobie with a picnic table and shelter at Otematata. PHOTO: SUPPLIED/GARY KIRCHER

A man who gave his heart to the Ahuriri ward has been remembered at the spot he loved the most.

Waitaki district councillors, family and friends of late Ahuriri councillor Ross McRobie gathered on Sunday for the unveiling of a picnic table and shelter in Otematata, in a ceremony to remember him.

Mr McRobie, who was elected unopposed in 2019, died in November last year.

He had previously served as a Queenstown-Lakes district councillor and member of the Wanaka Community Board, before moving with wife Petra to Otematata, where they had owned a holiday home.

Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher said Mr McRobie might have been a Waitaki district councillor for only a short time but he made a “big impact on us all”.

The memorial shelter was at the end of Boat Harbour, overlooking Lake Aviemore, and the part of the Otematata Wetland Mr McRobie enjoyed.

An engraved plaque was embedded in the picnic table. It was only fitting he was remembered in Otematata, Mr Kircher said.

“This shelter and picnic table encapsulates a number of notable aspects that remind us of Ross – the Otematata Wetlands, the lake, the Ahuriri ward and the village of Otematata that held a special place in his heart,” he said.

“This project was funded by councillors from their remuneration and we all felt that this was an excellent way to remember an outstanding human being.”