A new Memorial to acknowledge the contribution of Pacific nations to military conflicts and the bonds shared with New Zealand was unveiled by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today in Wellington.
Prime Minister Ardern says the Pacific Islands Memorial Te Reo Hotunui o te Moana nui a Kiwa recognises the close relationship between Aotearoa New Zealand and other Pacific nations, acknowledging the region’s contribution during times of conflict and the shared history that strengthens our bond today.
“Pacific Islanders and New Zealanders fought side by side during many conflicts, including the First and Second World Wars, although our history goes much deeper than that.”
The design, by artist Michel Tuffery MNZM and Herriot, Melhuish and O’Neil Architects, was selected by an expert judging panel following a national design competition.
Named Te Reo Hotunui o Te Moana nui a Kiwa – The deep sigh of the Pacific, the design recalls the conch shell left in the Arras Tunnels by Kuki Airani (Cook Island) soldiers of The New Zealand tunnelling Company and the New Zealand (Māori) Pioneer Battalion, who were stationed beneath the town of Arras during 1916 to 1918.
Image credit, NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister Cook Islands Mark Brown: Mark Tantrum