With demolition set to begin this month, yesterday was a time of acknowledgement and blessing of the former Cadbury site. Health Minister Hon Dr David Clark was welcomed onto the site by representatives of local Rūnaka, mana whenua, and Ministry of Health and Southern DHB officials, where a blessing, karakia and waiata were delivered.

“We had a blessing today, and I acknowledge mana whenua for their contribution. It takes you back to what this site has been over the years, and the people it’s engaged.” said David Clark.

Following the blessing, the minister kicked off what is set to be one of the biggest demolition projects New Zealand has seen, not by swinging a hammer, but by pulling up a weed.

David Clark pulls up a weed on Cadbury site to symbolically begin demolition, following a blessing of the site.

“This is the start of it, symbolically. I could've gone and drilled a hole in that concrete there, as it was, I pulled up a weed.”

The complex demolition is set to take up to 12 to 18 months, beginning with the former Cadbury distribution warehouse.

“This is significant. The town will see the progress now as we kick off construction with that very obvious clearing of the site.”

Health Minister Dr David Clark speaks to media at the former Cadbury site blessing, ahead of demolition

A group of people at the former Cadbury site blessing singing waiata


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