The area features improved open space, a staircase creating a better link to Parliament and an in-ground artwork by Joe Sheehan that interprets the path of the Waipiro Stream.
The area, formerly occupied by Māori, has a rich history and holds an important place in the culture and heritage of Wellington.
Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says the Cenotaph and surrounds play an important role in the Capital, physically and symbolically. “The art, public space and staircase enhance the Capital’s cultural heritage and sense of place.”
Parliamentary Service General Manager David Stevenson says the upgraded space achieves what the project set out to do: opening the area and strengthening the link between Parliament and the city.
The City Council’s Transport and Urban Development Committee Chair, Cr Andy Foster, says it’s great to see the Cenotaph opened out more and linked directly to Parliament. “It’s an important public space, being Wellington City’s place of commemoration for those who have served our country during times of conflict, it is especially fitting to reopen the Cenotaph as we commemorate 100 years since the First World War.”
A blessing ceremony performed by local iwi will be held at the Cenotaph at 10am on Friday 17 April. This date coincides with the original opening ceremony on Sunday 17 April, 1932.
The $2.5 million upgrade was a joint venture between the City Council and the Parliamentary Service with assistance from the Lottery Grants Board.
Wellington Sculpture Trust commissioned the in-ground artwork Walk the Line, with support from Wellington City Council’s Public Art Fund, other major donors, and its membership.
The Anzac Day Dawn Service will be at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park and there will be a Wellington Citizens’ service at the Cenotaph at 9am on Anzac Day.