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Launch of Peace Heritage Walk

Launch of Peace Heritage Walk links people, places and history


A Wellington Peace Heritage Walk linking key people and places in New Zealand’s peace history, will be launched as part of the World March for Peace and Nonviolence on 2 October.

The Heritage Walk includes the Gandhi statue, Sonja Davies memorial tree, Kate Sheppard Garden, Hiroshima Peace Flame, Wellington Nuclear-Free City sign, Peace Capital plaque, Peacemaker sculpture, Parihaka memorial and Antarctica monument.

The walk goes through parliament, central business district, the waterfront and the Wellington Botanic Garden and is being launched by the Peace Foundation in conjunction with Living Streets Aotearoa.

“Wellington City and its citizens have been active in promoting peace, tolerance and understanding in the local community and in the world,” says Alyn Ware, Director of the Peace Foundation Wellington Office. “It is wonderful that this history is reflected in a range of sculptures, memorials, trees and historic sites. The Heritage Walk aims to make these treasures, and other related inspirational places, more known, accessible and appreciated.”

People associated with the historic peace places will be on-site to welcome the World March and explain their significance.

Chris Booth, sculptor for the Peacemaker which is situated in the botanic garden, will welcome the World March to his sculpture and discuss its relevance to peace.

“The Peacemaker is part of a trilogy of peace sculptures the other two being the Gateway sculpture in the Auckland Peace Heritage Walk and the Rainbow Warrior Memorial at Matauri Bay, which includes the propeller from the Greenpeace vessel now resting in the bay,” says Mr Booth who comes from Kerikeri.

“The three sculptures were all constructed from basalt rocks retrieved from the ocean, where the pounding of currents had rounded them into harmonious peaceful forms. The intent of each very different work was to accentuate the feeling of holism and to express a conviction for peace and harmony among humankind.”

Others involved in the launch include Dame Laurie Salas former President of the United Nations Association who will welcome people to a kauri tree honouring the United Nations disarmament work, Sam Jackson kaumatua from Parihaka who will lead a ceremony at the Parihaka memorial, and former Minister for Disarmament Matt Robson who will launch a campaign for Peace at the Poles from the Antarctica monument on Mt Victoria.

Kanae Tsuji from Japan will read a message from Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue at the Nagasaki tree, which was grown from a cutting from a camphor tree which survived the 1945 nuclear explosion.

The Wellington Peace Heritage Walk launch and the World March for Peace and Nonviolence will start from the Gandhi statue in front of Wellington Central Railway station in honour of the birthday of nonviolence-advocate Mahatma Gandhi and the United Nations Day of Nonviolence both occurring on 2 October.

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