At a ceremony in Pukeahu National War Memorial Park this morning Hon Carmel Sepuloni and His Excellency Fisa Pihigia, High Commissioner for Niue unveiled a marquette model of the Pacific Islands Memorial which will be installed in late 2019.
Te Reo Hotunui o Te Moana nui a Kiwa, or ‘the deep sigh of the Pacific’ will take the form of a bronze conch shell.
Named Te Reo Hotunui o Te Moana nui a Kiwa, or ‘the deep sigh of the Pacific’, the memorial will take the form of a bronze conch shell – a symbol used throughout the Pacific in traditional ceremonies, on many national currencies and in the literature of the region.
The design recalls the conch shell left in the Arras Tunnels by Kuki Airani (Cook Island) soldiers of The New Zealand tunnelling Company and the New Zealand (Māori) Pioneer Battalion, who were stationed beneath the town of Arras during 1916 to 1918.
Michel Tuffery MNZM, John Melhuish and Herriot Melhuish O’Neil Architects created the design, which was selected by a judging panel chaired by His Excellency Fisa Pihigia.
Prior to the unveiling a Mauri Stones ceremony was conducted, a traditional Māori ceremony in which stones from the Pacific Islands and New Zealand were placed beneath what will be the foundations of the memorial. Also present were Sir Peter Jackson and Hon Aupito William Sio.
The Pacific Islands Memorial is a joint initiative by the Ministry for Culture and Heritage, the Ministry for Pacific Peoples and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, with support from the New Zealand Institute of Architects.
Due to be unveiled in late April 2019, the Pacific Islands Memorial will recognise the service and sacrifice of Pacific Islanders who fought for New Zealand in the First World War, the Second World War and subsequent conflicts. It will also signify New Zealand’s close ongoing relationship with the nations of the Pacific.
Michel Tuffery MNZM, John Melhuish and Herriot Melhuish O’Neil Architects created the design for the Pacific Islands Memorial at Pukeahu.
It will join memorials for Australia, Turkey, the United Kingdom, Belgium and France and a US memorial which is due to be placed in Pukeahu before the end of the year.
Updated on 23rd May 2019