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Minister to visit Europe ahead of WW100 commemorations

Hon Maggie Barry

Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage
28 September 2015 Media Statement

Minister to visit Europe ahead of WW100 commemorations

Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Maggie Barry will leave for Europe tomorrow to take part in a series of memorial events, visit the new Ngā Tapuwae New Zealand First World War trails and build ties for the next three years of centenary commemorations.

Ms Barry will travel to France, Belgium and Italy during her visit, meeting with the French Secretary of State for Veteran’s Affairs, Jean-Marc Todeschini.

“In 2016, the focus of our centenary commemorations will move from Turkey and Gallipoli to the Western Front in Europe, and honouring more than 12,000 New Zealanders who fell there. We are committed to working with our commemorative partners in France and Belgium, and I know we will have many positive discussions around events planned for the next three years,” Ms Barry says.

The Minister will unveil and present six new plinths and dioramas installed at significant battle sites such as Passchendaele and Messines as part of the Ngā Tapuwae trails.

An interactive smartphone guide to Ngā Tapuwae on the Western Front will soon be available, following the successful Gallipoli app released in March.

On October 3, Ms Barry will attend a memorial rugby match between Belgium and the New Zealand Defence Force and deliver a memorial address.

“The game is in honour of 1905 Originals captain Dave Gallaher, who was killed in action at Passchendaele in 1917 and will highlight the important bond forged between our two nations during the war.”

Four Belgian citizens awarded honorary membership of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours in recognition of their ongoing work to keep the New Zealand story alive will be acknowledged and congratulated by Ms Barry.

While in Paris, the Minister will meet with the Assistant Director of UNESCO to discuss potential World Heritage sites in New Zealand.

Ms Barry will also become the first Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister to visit the Venice Biennale and will view the work of New Zealand artist Simon Denny, meeting with the Biennale President along with New Zealand’s 2017 Commissioner, Alastair Carruthers.

“This is an important opportunity to foster relationships crucial to our ongoing commemorative activity and assess the effectiveness of the Biennale in promoting New Zealand’s place in the international arts scene.”

More information on Ngā Tapuwae can be found at http://ngatapuwae.govt.nz/


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