Wellington Scoop

Anzac memorial at Tinui proposed for heritage recognition

Press Release – Historic Places Trust
One of the country’s earliest memorials to Anzac Day is being proposed for heritage recognition by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust (NZHPT).

The Tinui Memorial Cross in the Wairarapa has gained national and international recognition as the site where locals gathered to commemorate the inaugural Anzac Day on 25 April 1916. The site is one of only a handful in New Zealand where a memorial was erected during the war. Other examples include the Anzac Memorial Tree in Eastbourne, Wellington (July 1915), a memorial in Kaitaia (March 1916) and the Anzac Memorial Flagpole in Petone, Wellington (April 1916).

Located on an outcrop of Mount Maunsell/Tinui-Taipo overlooking Tinui township, the memorial cross was originally constructed from timber before being replaced with an aluminium equivalent in 1965.

NZHPT contract historian Karen Astwood said the regular Anzac Day ceremonies show the high esteem with which the site is held by the community and visitors, with generations of Tinui people having trekked to the Cross since its original construction in 1916 as part of annual Anzac commemorations. This is reflected in its proposal as a Category I listing on the NZHPT’s National Register.

The Anzac Memorial Cross is on private farmland and the permission of the owners for access and direction is required across the private property to reach the landmark, particularly with the annual Anzac Day pilgrimage coming up.

“The Tinui Anzac Memorial Cross site is a dramatically solemn place. That has been reflected in the community erecting the cross to mark its respect for those involved in the Gallipoli campaign, the determination to continue the tradition when the cross needed replacing nearly 50 years later and the yearly pilgrimage to commemorate each Anzac Day.

“There has been media interest about the structure, its history, and the community’s desire for it to be recognised as a historic place. This rare form of commemorative structure is a particularly poignant example of the impact that the events at Gallipoli had on communities in New Zealand. Registration would recognise that history and the high esteem in which it is held nationally.”

Public submissions on the registration are welcomed by the NZHPT until 9 February. A copy of the registration report is available on the NZHPT’s website (www.historic.org.nz).

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