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Pukeahu National War Memorial Park - a project in time

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Tight deadlines and a restricted site, but delivered on time and within budget.

The opening performance at the Pukeahu National War Memorial Park on 18 April 20The opening performance at the Pukeahu National War Memorial Park on 18 April 2015. Photo credit: Colin McLellan

The Pukeahu National War Memorial Park in Wellington was a large and complex project, on a very crammed and busy inner-city site, with a strict completion deadline.

But thanks to the huge efforts of the Transport Agency-led Memorial Park Alliance, the project was delivered on time and within budget. The park was officially opened on 18 April in time to be the centrepiece for the 2015 ANZAC day celebrations.

“We’re proud to have played a part in such an important construction project to commemorate World War One,” says Regional Director Central Raewyn Bleakley.

The project was announced in August 2012 as the Government’s key project to commemorate the Centenary of the First World War. To meet the crucial 2015 deadline, up to 120 people worked six days a week and often late into the night.

To create the park, Buckle Street (SH1) had to go underground in a ‘cut and cover’ tunnel. The design and physical works had to account for the fact that all of Wellington’s most important underground services traversed the site, including historic brick sewers and major power lines which had to be avoided.

The site occupied the equivalent of around three rugby fields, and is in the middle of a bustling part of central Wellington. A school, a university, museum archives, businesses, and residential apartments were in close proximity to an often-noisy site with heavy vehicle and foot traffic. 

Working to a tight deadline in such a busy place makes for challenges over and above those found on greenfield sites where neighbours are usually much further away. Site managers engaged directly with neighbours to make the experience the best it could be for them.

You can read more about the Pukeahu National War Memorial Park on the Ministry of Culture and Heritage website(external link).

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