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Campaign To Preserve Wartime Memories

18 February 2002

PM Launches Campaign Of Ministry For Culture And Heritage To Preserve Wartime Memories

Prime Minister and Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, Helen Clark, today launched a campaign to preserve diaries, letters, photographs and other material from New Zealanders’ war experiences.

The campaign, Lest We Forget, is being co-ordinated by the Ministry for Culture and Heritage and is aimed at encouraging people to deposit relevant material in their local library or museum.

“War has been an unforgettable and powerful experience for many New Zealanders, and a defining stage in the evolution of New Zealand as a nation. It is therefore important that these experiences are not forgotten,” Helen Clark said.

“We owe it to future generations of New Zealanders to preserve as much as possible of the human evidence of wartime, war’s triumphs and tragedies, the boredom and the excitement.

“Letters, diaries, photographs, postcards, or even souvenirs, ration books, and paybooks contribute to the story of our country’s wartime experiences.

“It is not only the experiences of service men and women which are worth remembering.

“Those in the Home Guard, war refugees, war brides, members of patriotic organisations, people ‘making do’ at home - they too have stories which are worth preserving,” Helen Clark said.

The campaign will be promoted by a poster, a website and a pamphlet. The pamphlet provides guidance on the kinds of material which are worth saving.

The pamphlet provides a list of suitable repositories throughout New Zealand which will take good care of the material, and ensure that it is preserved for people in the future to be able to look at and read.

The pamphlet also provides advice on how to approach these institutions and the rights of depositors. For example, donors may wish to receive copies of the originals or impose restrictions on access to the records.

Further information on the campaign can be obtained on the website: www.mch.govt.nz/war-memory/

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