Te Paerangi Ataata – Sky Song memorial design

Te Paerangi Ataata – Sky Song was designed specifically for Dove-Myer Robinson Park, but we will reuse as many original design elements as possible at a new site. 

Te Paerangi Ataata - Sky Song was designed by Studio Pacific Architecture in collaboration with artists Jason O'Hara and Warren Maxwell. It reflects the enormity of the tragedy and provides a strong sense of connection and loss. 

The design encourages visitors to take a journey and engage with all aspects of the tragedy, as the story of what happened on that day unfolds. 

Along with sadness and loss, the design also evokes the sense of adventure the crew and passengers are almost sure to have enjoyed as they boarded the flight. 

Carefully designed to be a welcoming place for everyone, the design's compelling narrative engages visitors and provides a sanctuary within its walls. On the Ice Wall, visitors are able to touch the names of the 257 people who died in the accident. 

Watch a video of  Te Paerangi Ataata – Sky Song design, which shows how the memorial design will appear in the natural landscape of the former Dove-Myer Robinson Park site. 

Design aspects

National Erebus Memorial snowflake

Alongside the names are lines from the poem Erebus Voicescomposed by New Zealand poet Bill Manhire for the 25th anniversary of the accident in 2004 and read at the commemoration in Antarctica by Sir Edmund Hillary.

The opposite stainless steel Snowflake Wall displays 257 snowflake-shaped holes, unique to each person on the flight. Each snowflake has been digitally 'grown' using an algorithm that uses the name of each of those who lost their lives as a 'seed'. 

The white concrete and mirrored stainless steel materials of the memorial design evoke the stark beauty of Antarctica.

The journey culminates in a view out into the open horizon. 

The design subtly and powerfully calls on us to remember those who died in this national tragedy. 


Selecting the design

Once Support in Principle to locate the memorial in Dove-Myer Robinson Park was provided by the Waitematā Local Board, a national design competition was held to select the memorial concept based on the proposed site. 

Te Paerangi Ataata - Sky Song was chosen from six shortlisted options by an expert panel which included an architect, a landscape architect, an artist and an urban planner, as well as two representatives from the Erebus families. 

After it was chosen as the preferred design by the expert panel, Te Paerangi Ataata - Sky Song was reviewed by Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei and the Auckland Urban Design Panel, as well as the Waitematā Local Board, who were satisfied that it met all the criteria and confirmed it as the final design for the National Erebus Memorial. 

Find out more about the other five finalist designs

Artist's impression of the National Erebus Memorial, Te Paerangi Ataata – Sky Song.

Additional resources:

Copyright of the National Erebus Memorial design and Te Paerangi Ataata song belongs to Studio Pacific Architecture Ltd jointly with Jason O’Hara and Warren Maxwell. Permission to reproduce any of the design drawings or other material must be sought from [email protected]

Updated on 19th June 2023