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National monuments & war graves

We remember contributions to New Zealand's development as a nation by caring for national monuments and memorials.

Image of the National War Memorial is courtesy of Colin McLellan.

The Ministry looks after historic graves and monuments in over 81 sites throughout New Zealand. A large number of these originate from the New Zealand Wars of 1840-1872 including the  Katikara Memorial unveiled in 2002, which marks the grave of more than 20 Māori warriors, and the graves at Opepe, on the Napier - Taupo road. Others were erected to Māori leaders favoured by the Crown such as the memorial at   Pāpāwai Pa near Greytown, to Ngati Kahungunu leader Hamuera Tamahau Mahupuku.

We also care for various national monuments erected by the New Zealand government. Many of these commemorate former Prime Ministers such as Michael Joseph Savage, Richard Seddon and William Massey.

We liaise with the  Commonwealth War Graves Commission and can assist with locating overseas war graves if you are visiting Commonwealth cemeteries.

Recent projects including establishing the  Tomb of the Unknown Warrior at the National War Memorial in 2004, unveiling New  Zealand Memorials in Korea in 2005 and London in 2006.  We were involved with the construction of the New Zealand Memorial on Anzac Parade in Canberra and developing the Pukeahu National War Memorial Park which opened in April 2015. Our current project was the Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial which was dedicated on the sixth anniversary of the February 22 earthquake in 2017.

Others commemorate disasters such as the memorial at Karori Cemetery to those killed in the  1953 Tangiwai railway disaster or relate to twentieth century wars, such as the  Atatürk Memorial on Wellington's south coast, which commemorates Kemal Atatürk, commander of the Turkish forces at Gallipoli in 1915.

Related webpages

A list of historic graves and monuments

A list of national monuments

Anzac Commemorative Site, Gallipoli

Atatürk Memorial

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Katikara Memorial

Mahupuku Memorial

Massey Memorial

New Zealand Memorial, Canberra

New Zealand Memorial in Korea

New Zealand Memorial in London

Opepe Memorial

Pukeahu National War Memorial Park

Savage Memorial

Seddon Memorial

Tangiwai Memorial

Wakefield family grave

Updated on 7th March 2018