Today’s official unveiling of the French Memorial at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park reinforces New Zealand’s close relationship with France, Heather Baggott, Group Manager Delivery, Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage said.
“This new memorial will be jointly unveiled by Mrs Geneviève Darrieussecq, Minister of State attached to the Minister for Armed Forces and Hon Andrew Little, Minister of Justice, Courts and Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations,” Heather Baggott said.
Andrew Little and Geneviève Darrieussecq, Minister of State (France) at the unveiling of the French Memorial.
“It is appropriate that this memorial is being unveiled so soon after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and President Emmanuel Macron met in Paris and signed a joint declaration of mutual priorities.
“The French Memorial is a gift from France to New Zealand and is testimony to the friendship forged between our two countries since the First World War. Nearly 8,000 New Zealanders lost their lives in France during two world wars, more than in any other country.
View at the unveiling of the French Memorial on 04 May 2018.
“The memorial was selected through a design competition with Auckland-based architectural firm Patterson Associates design Le Calligramme chosen from 43 submissions.
“The memorial, which features a poem written by a French soldier during the First World War, combines extensive landscaping with two large elements made of local stone and crushed French Combe Brune stone from the Western Front.
A whakataukī, 'Haere whakamua, titiro whakamuri' – which urges us to walk into the future, with our eyes open to the past.
“The French memorial adds to the memorial landscape at the Park which includes those from Australia, Turkey, the United Kingdom and Belgium.
“A competition for a Pacific Islands memorial is currently underway with memorials for the United States and Canada also planned in the next two years.
“Pukeahu National War Memorial Park is the nation’s principal commemorative site providing a place to reflect on the impact of war on New Zealand society,” Heather Baggott said.
Members of the public are welcome to attend the unveiling which takes place at 10.00am.
Updated on 13th June 2018