Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage is running an open architectural design competition to find a winning design for a Pacific Islands Memorial to be installed at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park in Wellington.

The design for a Pacific Islands Memorial in Pukeahu National War Memorial Park has been announced by Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Hon Carmel Sepuloni.

“The Pacific Islands Memorial symbolises our close relationship with the Pacific and the service of Pacific peoples in the New Zealand Defence Force in the two World Wars and in other conflicts.” Carmel Sepuloni said.

 Congratulations to Michel Tuffery MNZM and Herriot, Melhuish and O’Neil Architects for their stunning design – Te Reo Hotunui o Te Moana nui a Kiwa which translates to The deep sigh of the Pacific,”

“The memorial takes the form of a conch shell, an iconic Pacific symbol. It is used across the region in formal traditional ceremonies. The conch shell is beautiful in its natural form and will be spectacular at massive scale alongside the other national memorials at Pukeahu.

Conch shell

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Pukeahu National War Memorial Park is the national place for New Zealanders to remember and reflect on this country’s experience of war, military conflict and peacekeeping and how this experience shapes our ideals and sense of national identity.

The memorials in Pukeahu National War Memorial Park stand as symbols of our shared experiences, as well as our enduring friendships and commitment to peace and international cooperation. This new memorial will recognise our closest friends, the Pacific nations.

The Pacific Islands Memorial will represent New Zealand’s friendship with all Pacific Island countries and in particular will recognise the service of Pacific Islanders in the New Zealand Defence Forces.

The Design Brief Document provides all information on the competition including background, dates and design criteria.

For a list of questions and answers on the competition refer to the FAQs section below

For policy information on Pukeahu National War Memorial Park please see the Ministry's website. Technical drawings of the park are also available on the website, for any further cad drawings please contact the Ministry on the email address below.

For information on New Zealand’s shared history with the Pacific Islands see NZHistory and Te Ara.


Information on Pukeahu National War Memorial Park is available on the Ministry's website:

  • Pukeahu National War Memorial Park was opened in April 2015 in the precinct surrounding the National War Memorial in Wellington.
  • One of the goals for Pukeahu was to create a space in Wellington for the development of new memorials from countries which New Zealand has a close military relationship with or a shared military history.
  • To date four international memorials have been installed within Pukeahu, these are: Australia, Turkey, United Kingdom and Belgium, with memorials for France, the United States of America and Canada to follow in 2018 and 2019.

The Competition

Competition stages

The competition will be run in two stages:

  • Stage One – is open to any team involving at least one New Zealand registered architect, and/or practices, academics and/or graduates who are members of NZIA. Stage One will be at concept design level and involves registering interest and creating a concept plan.  Those registering interest will be given a unique identification number to ensure the anonymity of all entrants.
  • Stage Two – up to three entries will then be selected to go through to Stage two. Each selected team will be paid NZD $10,000 (excluding GST) to prepare their detailed submission for consideration by a panel of professionals.

Key Dates

For a detailed timeline for the competition refer to the Design Brief.

The competition will be open for entries for a period of two months commencing on 23 March 2018.

All entrants will first need to register their interest anonymously via the button below and use their unique ID number for all correspondence with the Ministry.

The entry period ends on 21 May 2018, closing at midnight and the judging panel will then meet to review the entries and agree on a shortlist of three designs. The three finalist teams will be notified by 31 May 2018.

The three finalist teams will be allocated $10,000 per team and will have two months (until early August 2018) to prepare a detailed design submission and presentation for consideration by the panel and expert advisors.

The Panel will then select the winning design which we expect to announce in October 2018.

Judging Panel Members

The winning design for this memorial will be selected by a five-person panel who bring together a huge depth of experience in art, design, architecture and include a Pacific Island community representative.

Chair: His Excellency Hon Fisa Pihigia, High Commissioner for Niue

Hon. Fisa Pihigia has more than 20 years of experience working in the Niuean Government across several offices. He became a Member of Parliament in 1990 as a Common Roll Member of the Niue Legislative Assembly. Appointed as a Cabinet Minister his portfolio included Business Sector Relations, Broadcasting Cooperation and Public Works. Fisa Pihigia is a strong and enthusiastic supporter of community engagement, participation and development through all spheres from educational, social, spiritual and physical.

Andrew Tu’inukuafe

Tongan lineage Andrew Tu’inukuafe is a registered architect based in Auckland currently working as an Interiors Principal with Warren and Mahoney. He believes collaborative partnerships are important to the successful delivery of designs. The winner of several design awards Andrew Tu’inukuafe has studied at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London and has also worked in the UK and the USA.

Jacky Bowring

Jacky Bowring is a registered landscape architect and Professor of Landscape Architecture at Lincoln University. Her research and interests include cultural landscape, history memory and emotion. With a strong interest in the design of places for memory, she has been successful in a range of competitions including as a finalist in the Pentagon Memorial Design Competition. Jacky Bowring is editor of the international journal Landscape Review and was on the selection panel for Oi Manawa, the Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial. 

Leilani Kake

Lens-based artist and educator, Leilani Kake has been working in the creative arts industry for more than 20 years in South Auckland. She has exhibited and presented at conferences both nationally and internationally with a focus on Pacific and Māori issues through personal experiences. Her most recent achievements have been the recipient of a UNESCO grant to represent Aotearoa at the Asia-Pacific Regional Workshop on the Global Action Programme on Education for Sustainable Development in New Delhi, November 2017 and participation in a group exhibition in the Toi Nga Puhi Arts Festival 2018.

Leafa Wilson 

Leafa Wilson (also known as Olga Krause) is an accomplished artist, curator and writer based in Waikato. In 2004, Wilson was appointed the role of Curator of Art at Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato, making her the first person of Pacific descent to hold an institutional role as an art curator. As an artist, Wilson is revered for her experimental performances and multi-media installations. She has exhibited widely and held artist residencies at the University of Queensland, Brisbane and the Burke Museum, Seattle, Washington. In 2016 her performance work ‘Thank You Mother India’ was performed at the Inaugural Morni Hills Performance Art Biennale, India. In 2017, Wilson’s most recent performance work ‘This Ain’t No Disco’ was performed in both Auckland and Christchurch as part of a group exhibition.

Design Brief

The Pacific Islands and New Zealand place great value on the significance of this memorial to celebrate the friendship between our countries and the close cultural, historical, economic and political ties between New Zealand and the Pacific nations.

Along with the International Memorials Selection, Location and Design Guidelines, key criteria required for the design are:

-        Represents all Pacific Island countries

-        Acknowledges the contribution of Pacific peoples in both World Wars and in other conflicts

-        Recognises and appreciates the diversity of Pacific countries

-        Represents the strong relationships across the region

-        Recognises New Zealand’s friendship with all Pacific Island countries

-        Recognises the service of Pacific Islanders in the New Zealand Defence Force

-        Is suitable for official ceremonies, for example, wreath laying ceremonies, and

-        Reflects the Pacific Islands, this could be in the design, materials used or symbols, or through the participation of a Pacific Island creative professional in the design.

Email contact

If you cannot find the information you require via this webpage or within the Design Brief, please contact the Administrator at:

How to register?

Click below if you wish to register your interest in the competition, you will receive an email with a unique identification number which should be used for all correspondence and documentation you send to the Ministry.  The unique ID number means all teams will remain anonymous to the judging panel during stage one of the selection process.

Thanks for your interest. The competition has now closed. Please see the key dates listed above for the competition timelines.


Pacific Islands Memorial – FAQs

Q) Is there a time on the 21 May that entries need to be received?
A) Yes, 12 am midnight is the deadline on 21 May.

Q) There is a note around anonymity, with the stage one entry, and yet a requirement to provide experience, capability and capacity. By siting examples of work, are we not revealing personal? Please clarify.
A) Yes we do endeavour to keep the entries anonymous so that the judging panel can make an unbiased decision, however New Zealand is small and it’s likely that in some cases the style or design are attributable to a particular artist or architect, and as you mention the list of experience may also reveal this. We have a judging panel of 5 and a number of other experts will also be providing advice and so this is another way to ensure that a balanced and considered decision is made.

Q) We would like to submit 2 entries. I assume this is acceptable as in the first round they are anonymous? And if so how do we obtain 2 different ID numbers?
A) Yes a team may submit as many entries as they like. Please email for subsequent unique ID numbers

Q) Can you please confirm you would like entries submitted via email and, if so, can you please specify the email address they are to be submitted to.
A) Yes, please email your submissions to

Updated on 25th October 2018