Proposal to name Saxton Field’s main road in honour of Kerry Marshall

31/07/2020 1:39am

The Mayors of Nelson and Tasman, Rachel Reese and Tim King and Nelson MP Nick Smith have proposed that the main road through Saxton Field be named “Kerry Marshall Drive” in memory of the former Tasman and Nelson Mayor.

Kerry, who devoted much of his life to public service, passed away in March this year during the Covid-19 lockdown. A memorial celebrating his life will take place at Nelson College at 4pm today (Friday, 31 July).

Nelson City Council Mayor Rachel Reese acknowledged that many people made huge contributions to the Saxton Field sporting complex. “There were dozens of meetings through the 1990s and 2000s where Kerry, as Mayor, led major decisions that led to the creation of one of our region’s most important community facilities.

“Kerry spent his last years at the Ernest Rutherford Rest home and regularly went for walks through Saxtons, taking great pride in his role in developing these facilities. This personal connection adds weight to it being an appropriate place for a memorial to this great civic leader.”

Tasman District Council Mayor Tim King said giving the road through Saxton Field a name would help people navigate through the area.

“The current road has no name, causing confusion for people finding their way and using Google Maps. We believe it is appropriate to recognise Kerry’s contribution this way and to begin the process on the day of his memorial service. We liked the phrase ‘Kerry Marshall Drive’ as Kerry was so driven in his life’s work to improve our region.”

Nelson MP Nick Smith also gave his full backing to the proposal.

“We have jointly written to the Saxton Field committee proposing the name change and recommending they undertake a process of public and iwi consultation. Our hope would be that the community supports this proposal for a lasting memorial for Kerry’s contribution to our region and New Zealand.”

The Marshall family say they are delighted with the proposal to rename the road. 

“Kerry put decades of work into developing these sports facilities. He loved parks and especially during the last few years enjoyed many wheelchair visits and picnics in Saxton Field. The complex is also symbolic of Kerry’s long passion to connect the Nelson and Tasman communities,” said Colleen Marshall.

Kerry was Mayor of Richmond for three years, Tasman for nine years and Nelson for three years. As well as contributing nationally as President of Local Government NZ, Chair of the NZ Conservation Authority, Chair of the New Zealand Visitor Information Network, a member of the New Zealand Geographic Board, a trustee of the Cawthron Institute of Science and Technology, chair of the New Zealand World of Wearable Art Development Trust and chair of the Tasman Environmental Trust.