Memorial Park

07.08.12

Memorial Park Tunnel Walk-through.

Artist's impression of Memorial Park

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Ngā mihinui o Te ata ki a kotou

Thank you, Prime Minister and I acknowledge all the dignitaries present.

I too would like to offer my deepest sympathies to the whanau and friends of Lance Corporals Pralli Durrer and Rory Malone.

Their death provides a sombre reminder of why we must have a fitting Memorial Park for a capital and a nation.

We are a courageous and compassionate nation. It is those qualities that were exhibited by Lance Corporals Pralli Durrer and Rory Malone in Afghanistan, and it is those qualities that will be commemorated in this park.

The establishment of an appropriate Memorial Park is a great result for New Zealand.

As our capital, Wellington is the right place to reflect on the courage, sacrifice and achievements of our nation. Memorial Park will be special for all New Zealanders, a place of remembrance and contemplation.

The decision is a special victory for all New Zealanders. This is a victory for long term urban design and a victory for an inclusive approach, with MPs and others from a wide range of political, local and service backgrounds united to support a truly memorable Memorial Park.

We all agree that this capital Memorial Park needs to happen: For the city, for our country, for our neighbouring Australians and for all nations who wish an end to war; For a sense of purpose, for our sense of place; And to remember the past, so that we may all look forward to a peaceful future.

I'd like to acknowledge the Prime Minister and his colleagues for their outstanding support for Memorial Park, especially Minister Chris Finlayson for his understanding of the significance of this area to all New Zealanders.

I'd also like to acknowledge MPs Grant Robertson, who will speak next, and Peter Dunne who have both given great support for this project and many others such as Mount Cook Mobilised.

The Defence Forces and the RSA who have been staunch, Mount Cook school staff and pupils and parents,

And to my colleague, local ward councillor and Deputy Mayor Ian McKinnon, who has long been committed to a good result for Memorial Park. Our council unanimously supported the under grounding of this part of the road and we will fund a significant portion of the landscaping.

And when the park is completed, the highway is buried, and we can all look out across to our stunning harbour, Te Whanganui a tara, as we listen to the carillon, to Karakia and remembrances. We will do so in a place of respect, contemplation and beauty.

Now I'd like to pass the baton to Grant Robertson, MP for Wellington Central and the Deputy Leader of the Opposition.

The speech delivered may vary from this text.