Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown and Deputy Mayor Ian McKinnon have welcomed today's announcement that a Memorial Park befitting Wellington's status as the capital of New Zealand will be created.
This morning, Prime Minister John Key announced the establishment of Memorial Park in front of the National War Memorial on Buckle Street. A key feature of the project will be a cut-and-cover of State Highway 1, to run beneath the park, to Taranaki Street.
"The establishment of an appropriate Memorial Park is a great outcome for Wellington and the nation," said Mayor Wade-Brown.
"This is a victory for long term thinking about Memorial Park. I warmly congratulate the Prime Minister and his Cabinet colleagues for this outstanding decision and appreciate the bipartisan approach taken.
"The National War Memorial is New Zealand's foremost commemorative site. As our capital, Wellington is the right place to reflect on the courage, sacrifice and achievements of our nation. Memorial Park will be special for all New Zealanders, a place of remembrance and contemplation.
"Today's decision respects the area, and ensures the establishment of a lasting and appropriate memorial to all who have served our country," she said.
Deputy Mayor and Lambton Ward Councillor Ian McKinnon says the decision provides benefits at three levels.
"For New Zealand, ensuring a Memorial Park for which all New Zealanders can be proud; For Wellington, a new CBD park with an outlook over the city and harbour; and for the locality, giving greater safety for pedestrians, particularly students at Massey University and Wellington High School, and the young people attending Mt Cook School. It will be a wonderful addition for the city in all respects.
"New Zealand will commemorate the centenary of Gallipoli in 2015 on ANZAC Day in a respectful setting that the nation, the city and our Australian colleagues can feel proud," said Cr McKinnon.
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