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PM to unveil Kiwi statue on Sydney’s ANZAC bridge

31 March 2008 Media Statement

PM to unveil Kiwi statue on Sydney’s ANZAC bridge

Prime Minister Helen Clark says that a new bronze sculpture of a World War I soldier on Sydney’s ANZAC Bridge will be dedicated at a special ceremony in April.

The special dedication ceremony will be held on Sunday, 27 April. Prime Minister Helen Clark and New South Wales Premier Morris Iemma will both attend and speak at the ceremony.

”This ceremony is the culmination of a joint project between the New Zealand and New South Wales governments which I launched with Premier Morris Iemma in June last year,” Helen Clark said.

“The New Zealand statue will complement the statue of the Australian soldier which has stood at the western end of ANZAC bridge since 2000. The twin soldier statues in the heart of Australia’s largest city remind us of our close relationship and of the proud traditions we share. It will be a fitting tribute to the sacrifices made by ANZAC servicemen and women over more than 100 years.

“New Zealand and Australia service personnel have worked alongside each other in many off shore deployments.

“We served together, at horrendous cost, on the beaches of Gallipoli, in the mud of Flanders, and elsewhere during World War One. We were both in the Second World War, in the Korean War, and in other conflicts and peacekeeping missions throughout the Twentieth Century. Today, our defence forces continue working together in Timor Lesté and the Solomon Islands,” Helen Clark said.

The NSW Government commissioned distinguished sculptor Alan Somerville to sculpt and cast the New Zealand statue. Mr Somerville was born in Dunedin, New Zealand, and is a joint citizen of New Zealand and Australia. The award-winning sculptor has created many public statues in both countries and internationally, including the statue of the Australian digger already on ANZAC Bridge. The New Zealand Government has contributed $386,000 towards the New Zealand statue.

“Through commemorative projects like that of this sculpture of the Kiwi soldier, New Zealand can project its unique national identity, and acknowledge the sacrifices of our people alongside others,” Helen Clark said.

Veterans from both New Zealand and Australia will be present at the statue’s unveiling in the ceremony being organised by the governments of New South Wales and New Zealand.

ENDS

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