15 red sandstone columns and eucalypts – Australian contribution to Memorial Park

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Press Release – Wellington City Council
The announcement of the design for an Australian sculpture in the National War Memorial Park in Wellington is a significant step forward for the project, said Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown and Deputy Mayor Ian McKinnon.

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Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard yesterday revealed details of the design. It features 15 columns made from rugged red sandstone surrounded by eucalypt trees, which will be symbolic of Australia’s ‘Red Centre’ and the Australian landscape. It is designed by Australian architectural firm Tonkin Zulaikha Greer.

“I’d like to thank Prime Minister Gillard and the Australian Government for their outstanding partnership with the New Zealand Government in the creation of Wellington’s Memorial Park,” said Mayor Wade-Brown.

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“Memorial Park, Pukeahu, will be a place of remembrance and contemplation, a place to reflect on war and peace, and a place to acknowledge the very special relationship between New Zealand and Australia.”

Deputy Mayor Ian McKinnon said the Capital provides the most appropriate location for what will be New Zealand’s foremost commemorative site.

“Memorial Park being situated in Wellington, the Capital City, really underlines the importance of ties with Australia and our shared history,” said Cr McKinnon. “This is a special asset for our Capital city, particularly with Australia establishing a similar memorial park over there. We take considerable pride in the spirit of friendship that exists between our nations,” he said.

The Council has committed $5 million to the Memorial Park in Wellington. It will be completed in time for the centenary of the Gallipoli in 2015.

In addition, the Council is a key partner with Melbourne’s St Kilda in the establishment of AFL games to be played in Wellington on Anzac Day, which begin this year with a match against the Sydney Swans. A close trade and business relationship between Sydney and Wellington was formalised in 1983.

“Memorial Park and the AFL games on Anzac Day will be a great symbol of the strength of our Trans-Tasman ties,” said the Mayor.

News release from Australian Government
Prime Minister Julia Gillard has announced the successful design for the new Australian Memorial in New Zealand by Australian architectural firm Tonkin Zulaikha Greer. The Australian Memorial, a reciprocal gesture to the New Zealand Memorial built on ANZAC Parade in Canberra, will be erected in the New Zealand National War Memorial Park in Wellington.

To be constructed from Australian materials, the Memorial’s main feature will be 15 columns made from rugged red sandstone, symbolic of Australia’s ‘Red Centre’, surrounded by eucalypt trees, representing the Australian landscape.

As well as commemorating our shared Anzac wartime experiences, the Memorial will commemorate the shared Australian and New Zealand experience of indigenous history, settlement, immigration, culture and other links.

The memorial will be funded by the Australian Government. The project budget is AUD$5 million.

In August 2012, the New Zealand Government announced that the State Highway (Buckle St), where it transects the National War Memorial Park, will be put underground so that the National War Memorial and the new Park are joined as one precinct.

The New Zealand Government’s development of the Memorial Park will cost NZ$12 million including a contribution from the Wellington City Council of NZ$5 million. In addition, the State Highway will be put underground at a cost of NZ$70-75 million with work expected to be completed by late 2014. Construction and landscaping of the Memorial Park, including the Australian Memorial will start in late 2014 and be completed in time for the Centenary of Anzac on 25 April 2015.

 

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