When the National War Memorial was first built in 1932 it was highly visible from most areas of the capital. At that time a boulevard was proposed to link the memorial to Courtenay Place. This never eventuated and, while still highly visible, the memorial became isolated in a semi-industrial zone as the city has grown up around it.
In 2005 the Crown acquired land on behalf of the Ministry for Culture and Heritage on Buckle Street, to create a national war memorial park across the road from the National War Memorial. This park was to join the adjacent National War Memorial and the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior as a major focal point for New Zealanders to commemorate sacrifice during time of war.
On 7 August 2012 the government announced it was proceeding with the creation of a the Pukeahu National War Memorial Park, including putting Buckle Street underground to remove the traffic that would separate the park from the National War Memorial. This enabled the creation of a new, unified National Memorial precinct. Development of the park was a key part of the Ministry of Culture and Heritage’s commemoration of the centenary of the First World War, and the completed park was in place for Anzac Day 2015.
Read more about Pukeahu National War Memorial Park on the Ministry for Culture and Heritage’s website (external link) .
From November 2015, an expansion project has begun on the park’s western edge to demolish the building at 175 Taranaki St, expand the park into half the cleared land and offer the remainder for sale.
Benefits of the NZ Memorial Park
The Pukeahu National War Memorial Park:
- improves the setting of the National War Memorial
- creates a space for new memorials from countries with which New Zealand has a close military relationship
- provides an opportunity to expand the scope of the National War Memorial to ensure it remains relevant
- contribute to New Zealanders’ sense of national identity
- enhance Wellington’s urban landscape by increasing access to the memorial precinct, creating pathways for people to move through, as well as spaces for people to pause and reflect
- fit into the Wellington City Council’s long term plan for a ‘greener’ city, connecting Government House with the parliamentary district through a ‘green corridor’
- create additional green space, making walking and cycling to work easier for the city’s residents, as well.