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PM announces NZ Memorial in London

PM announces NZ Memorial in London

Prime Minister Helen Clark announced today that a New Zealand Memorial is to be built in London as an enduring symbol of the longstanding ties between New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

Helen Clark is visiting the site in Hyde Park in central London at 3.15pm on Friday, local time.

“Over the years many Commonwealth countries have build memorials in London. Canada has one in Green Park, and recently gates on Constitution Hill have been erected in honour of the contributions to the allied defence by India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, the Caribbean and African nations. Later this year an Australian memorial is to be unveiled.

“In these circumstances, our government has decided that it is important that New Zealand’s outstanding contribution to the allied cause in two world wars and alongside British forces in many other deployments should not go unrecognised. In World War One alone, more than 10 per cent of New Zealand’s population at the time served overseas, at enormous cost to life and limb. More than 18,000 never came home, and there were a further 41,000 casualties.

“Such traumatic events had a major effect on New Zealand and its families. They also cemented long term bonds between our country and the United Kingdom. It is important that our shared history and memories are recognised, at the same time as we work to keep the relationship up to date in the 21st century.

“The memorial will be sited diagonally opposite the Australia Memorial in Hyde Park, on the large circle of land which houses the Wellington Arch. The New Zealand High Commission in London has been working with the Westminster City Council, Royal Parks, and English Heritage on the plan.

“The Ministry for Culture and Heritage, in conjunction with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, will manage the design and construction of the project, which has an estimated cost of one million pounds. Following this announcement, the two ministries will work on the details of the proposal and the timetable for completion, which is expected to be in 2005,” Helen Clark said.

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