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Design for NZ Memorial in Hyde Park, London

19 December 2005

Design for NZ Memorial in Hyde Park, London

Prime Minister and Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, Helen Clark, today announced the winning design for the New Zealand Memorial in Hyde Park Corner, London.

The winning design, selected from a short-list of twelve, is by Palmerston North sculptor, Paul Dibble, in association with Athfield Architects of Wellington.

Rt Hon Winston Peters visited the site designated for the Memorial during his recent visit to London and today expressed his pleasure that the project was proceeding in honour of the role New Zealand has played alongside the United Kingdom in time of war.

Helen Clark said the memorial will commemorate the special relationship between New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

"This memorial will symbolise the contribution and sacrifice made by New Zealand during armed conflicts alongside the United Kingdom. The memorial is expected to become a particular focus for ANZAC Day commemorations in London each year," Helen Clark said.

"I am pleased that we have the strong team of Paul Dibble and Athfield Architects working on this project. Their proposal is for a distinctive New Zealand design, and I am sure New Zealanders visiting the memorial in London will take pride in it.

"The design is a fitting memorial to the more than a quarter of a million New Zealanders who served in the wars of the last century and indeed back to the South African War. It evokes and reflects the courage, determination, and loyalty of New Zealanders who served in, and supported the war effort, as well as the accompanying grief, loss and suffering which New Zealand experienced.”

"The memorial will be located at Hyde Park Corner, diagonally opposite the Australian Memorial which was completed in 2003. The official dedication of the New Zealand memorial is likely to take place in late 2006," Helen Clark said.

Paul Dibble said that the memorial will include 16 cross-shaped vertical bronze sculptures, each adorned with text and images.

"We deliberately set the memorial in a position where the main pedestrian route runs through the memorial so that visitors will walk amongst the sculptures, encouraging people to stop and explore. Through the words and images, any New Zealander visiting the memorial will recognise home, and British people may learn something of the relationship between our two countries,” Paul Dibble said.

Images of the design and plans for the memorial can be found at www.mch.govt.nz/london/

Background

The United Kingdom and New Zealand share close family, historical, cultural, sporting and economic ties. A special bond was forged when New Zealand answered the United Kingdom's request for troops to serve in various armed conflicts, especially World War One and World War Two.

250,000 New Zealanders served in various roles during the world wars – soldiers, nurses and support staff. On the home front, the country's industry and economy went on a war footing, and contributing to the war effort dominated the lives of many New Zealanders. Our agricultural shipments to the United Kingdom were vital to that country's wellbeing.

In London there are many monuments to the fallen and to military leaders. Among these are now important memorials to Commonwealth contributors. The Canadian memorial is situated at Green Park, and gates on Constitution Hill have been erected in honour of the contributions from Africa, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sir Lanka and the Caribbean. Australia also unveiled its own memorial in Hyde Park Corner on 11 November 2003.

English Heritage, in conjunction with other authorities is currently refiguring Hyde Park Corner. The first and second stages of development are complete and resulted in the refurbishment of the Wellington Arch, reconfiguration of the ‘lower-bowl' and the installation of the Australian War Memorial. The later phases of the plan include the development of the ‘upper bowl', which is where the New Zealand Memorial is to be sited.

The project is being managed by the Ministry for Culture and Heritage in consultation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, New Zealand Defence Force and Veterans’ Affairs New Zealand. It will also be carried out in cooperation with English Heritage and the Westminster City Council.

The New Zealand Government is funding this $3 million project.

ENDS

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