National Erebus Memorial

On the morning of 28 November 1979, Air New Zealand flight TE901 left Auckland for a sightseeing flight to Antarctica. At 12.49 p.m. (NZST) the aircraft crashed into Mt Erebus in Antarctica, killing all 257 passengers and crew.


Erebus remains the worst civil accident in New Zealand’s history, the scale of loss shocked the nation. The plane was lost from the fleet of the national carrier; Air New Zealand was in full state ownership at that time.


2019 marked the 40th anniversary of the accident and the New Zealand government has undertaken to construct a national memorial that acknowledges the loss to the families and the nation. The location for the memorial is Auckland’s Dove-Myer Robinson Park.


Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage is leading the project.



The memorial design

Te Paerangi Ataata - Sky Song  was announced as the winning design for the National Erebus Memorial in April 2019 following a national design competition. It was designed by Studio Pacific Architecture in collaboration with artists Jason O’Hara and Warren Maxwell.


Te Paerangi Ataata reflects the enormity of the Erebus tragedy without losing the adventurous spirit of the crew and passengers. Its stainless steel and concrete details evoke the stark beauty of the Antarctic environs.


Designed specifically for the site in Auckland’s Dove-Myer Robinson Park, Te Paerangi Ataata; Sky Song’ sits lightly on the landscape. Its location overlooking Waitamatā Habour allows for a strong visual connection to the ocean and the distant horizon.


About the site: Dove-Myer Robinson Park/Taurarua Pā, Auckland

Dove-Myer Robinson Park /Taurarua Pā is a busy yet tranquil public green space in the historic Auckland suburb of Parnell. It is a site of significant heritage value to mana whenua and the community. It is home to remarkable native trees including what is thought to be the largest pohutukawa in Auckland.


Quick Links

Additional Resources

The New Zealand Airline Pilots' Association and the Erebus National Memorial group websites also have information on the accident.