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Pacific Island Memorial competition underway

Pacific Island Memorial competition underway

A competition to design the Pacific Island Memorial in Pukeahu National War Memorial Park in Wellington is opening today, the Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni has today announced.

“The winning design for this memorial will be selected by a five-person panel who bring together a huge depth of experience in art, design, architecture and Pacific culture,” Carmel Sepuloni said.

“Chaired by His Excellency Hon Fisa Pihigia, High Commissioner for Niue, the panel includes architect Andrew Tu’inukuafe, landscape architect Jacky Bowring, curator Sean Mallon and artist Leilani Kake.

“Those interested in designing this memorial to recognise New Zealand’s close relationship with our Pacific neighbours are invited to develop a concept which will then go to the selection panel for consideration.

“This will be a two-stage process with stage one involving registering interest and developing a concept for the panel’s consideration. Three concepts will then be chosen for further development with the judging panel selecting the winning design from these.

“This competition approach to the memorial’s design gives many people the opportunity to provide their ideas as to how the memorial will reflect the diversity of the Pacific Islands. And those registering interest will be given a unique identification number which ensures the anonymity of all entrants.

“Erected adjacent to the Queen Elizabeth II Education Centre on a large terrace area the memorial will be a meeting place for Pacific people and a place for all visitors to reflect on our close relationship with Pacific nations.

“This memorial will also speak for the men from Pacific countries who joined ranks with New Zealanders in both World Wars and our strong relationship with our Pacific neighbours.

“Having a Pacific Islands’ Memorial will be a welcome addition to the memorial landscape in the Park providing people with a further place to acknowledge both Aotearoa’s history during times of conflict and the on-going relationship we have with Pacific people,” Carmel Sepuloni said.

The project to build the memorial is run jointly by the Ministry for Culture and Heritage, the Ministry for Pacific Peoples and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade with support from the New Zealand Institute of Architects. To read the design brief for the memorial and to find out more about the competition go to: http://mch.govt.nz/pukeahu-park/pacific-islands-memorial-design-competition

Selection Panel Biographies

His Excellency Hon Fisa Pihigia, High Commissioner for Niue

Fisa Pihigia has more than 20 years of experience working in the Niuean Government across several offices. He became a Member of Parliament in 1990 as a Common Roll Member of the Niue Legislative Assembly. Appointed as a Cabinet Minister his portfolio included Business Sector Relations, Broadcasting Cooperation and Public Works. Fisa Pihigia is a strong and enthusiastic supporter of community engagement, participation and development through all spheres from educational, social, spiritual and physical.



Andrew Tu’inukuafe

Tongan lineage Andrew Tu’inukuafe is a registered architect based in Auckland currently working as an Interiors Principal with Warren and Mahoney. He believes collaborative partnerships are important to the successful delivery of designs. The winner of several design awards Andrew Tu’inukuafe has studied at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London and has also worked in the UK and the USA.



Jacky Bowring

Jacky Bowring is a registered landscape architect and Professor of Landscape Architecture at Lincoln University. Her research and interests include cultural landscape, history memory and emotion. With a strong interest in the design of places for memory, she has been successful in a range of competitions including as a finalist in the Pentagon Memorial Design Competition. Jacky Bowring is editor of the international journal Landscape Review and was on the selection panel for Oi Manawa, the Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial.

Sean Mallon


The Senior Curator Pacific Cultures at Te Papa Sean Mallon specialises in the social and cultural history of Pacific peoples in New Zealand. He is currently researching the cultural history of Samoan tattooing, and issues relating to the agency and activism of Pacific peoples in museums. Sean Mallon was the recipient of the Creative New Zealand Contemporary Pacific Artist Award 2013 for his extensive contribution to Pacific arts.


Leilani Kake

Lens-based artist and educator, Leilani Kake has been working in the creative arts industry for more than 20 years in South Auckland. She has exhibited and presented at conferences both nationally and internationally with a focus on Pacific and Māori issues through personal experiences. Her most recent achievements have been the recipient of a UNESCO grant to represent Aotearoa at the Asia-Pacific Regional Workshop on the Global Action Programme on Education for Sustainable Development in New Delhi, November 2017 and participation in a group exhibition in the Toi Nga Puhi Arts Festival 2018.



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