New Zealand Memorial, Canberra

Handle-shaped bronze memorial set into concrete behind two flags and flagpoles.

People working on handle shaped bronze memorial using scaffolding and elevated work platform Detail of paving with inlaid text Mau tena kiwai o te kete, maku tenei Each of us at a handle of the basket. People in coloured uniforms standing in a line on wet concrete. People in coloured uniforms and hats carrying rifles. Plaque with text fixed into grass in front of handle shaped bronze memorial. Two people in black coats standing together in front of handle shaped bronze memorial.

The New Zealand Memorial in Canberra acknowledges the co-operative relationship between New Zealand and Australia. The prime ministers of both countries, Helen Clark, and John Howard, unveiled the memorial at a dedication ceremony in Canberra on 24 April 2001.

Situated at the head of Canberra's Anzac Parade, the memorial takes the form of two bronze arches, each representing the handle of a flax basket or kete. Based on the Māori whakataukī (proverb) 'Mau tena kiwai o te kete, maku tenei' (Each of us at a handle of the basket), the kete symbolises the shared 'load' and experience of Australians and New Zealanders.

The distinct handles of the kete emphasise the ongoing evolution of the relationship between the two countries. One handle represents New Zealand and the other Australia. Toi te Rito Maihi and Allen Wihongi from Northland created a Māori design for the paving on the New Zealand side, with the stone originating from Coromandel, Golden Bay, and Canterbury. On the Australian side, Daisy Nadjungdanga from Maningruda in the Northern Territory designed an Aboriginal motif for the paving beneath the handle, using stone of Australian origin.

The paved area beneath each handle acknowledges the special bond forged between New Zealand and Australia during times of war. Dignitaries buried soil from the Gallipoli battlefields of Chunuk Bair and Lone Pine in boxes made from rimu (New Zealand) and jarrah (Australia) during an earlier ceremony in February 2001.

Inscribed on concentric circles radiating from each handle are the names of military campaigns in which New Zealanders and Australians have served side by side.

More information

Australian Memorial Pukeahu Park – NZHistory

New Zealand Memorial, Canberra – Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Australia and New Zealand – Te Ara The Encyclopedia of New Zealand

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