Capital Welcomes Australian Design for Memorial Park

9 February 2013

Today's announcement of the design for the Australian sculpture for Memorial Park, Pukeahu, is a significant step forward for the project, said Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown and Deputy Mayor Ian McKinnon.

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard today revealed details of the design for the Australian Memorial in the National War Memorial Park in Wellington.

The Memorial 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.

"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.