Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Maggie Barry has welcomed the official opening of the new education centre at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park in Wellington today.
Named in honour of Queen Elizabeth II as a 90th birthday gift from New Zealand, the education centre will play a pivotal role in the ongoing development of Pukeahu as a place of national remembrance and reflection.
The historic, restored building will now provide an indoor teaching space for Pukeahu’s successful education programme, which has hosted more than 12,000 students.
“A building with a special history of its own, the Queen Elizabeth II Education Centre has been sensitively renovated into a modern teaching space,” Ms Barry says. “Its importance to the legacy of Pukeahu for our young people makes it a particularly fitting gift for Her Majesty.”
More than 120,000 New Zealanders have visited the National War Memorial Park in the 12 months to August.
“Before the park was opened, the memorial site only received around 10,000-15,000 visitors a year,” Ms Barry says. “With our nationwide First World War centenary commemorations continuing, the park has become a focal point for our remembrance.”
Sir Peter Jackson’s Great War Exhibition in the Old Dominion Museum next to the park continues to draw crowds, with more than 169,000 people visiting in the last year.
“Pukeahu National War Memorial Park and the Great War Exhibition provide places to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice, and reflect on how experiences of war, military conflict and peacekeeping have shaped our ideals and national identity, and will continue to do so,” Ms Barry said.
Updated on 17th August 2016