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The National War Memorial Park

The National War Memorial Park in Buckle Street, Wellington, will be used to commemorate the Centenary of the First World War during Anzac day in 2015.

Special laws were passed to make sure the Buckle Street underpass would be built in time for Anzac Day 2015, 100 years after the battle of Gallipoli.

  • A special team called an alliance has been formed to complete this project.

The Memorial Park Alliance

The alliance was formed to allow different organisations to work together to meet one common goal. It means work can be done faster with less money.  The Memorial Park Alliance is made up of five organisations;

  • New Zealand Transport Agency
  • Downer
  • HEB Construction
  • Tonkin and Taylor
  • URS

Alliances have also been formed:

  • In Christchurch, to work on rebuilding the cities earthquake damaged services and roads. It is called SCIRT (Stronger Canterbury Infrastructure Rebuild Team)
  • In Auckland to work on New Zealand’s largest roading project called Waterview Connection. It is called the ‘Well-Connected Alliance’.

The people who have joined together in the Memorial Park Alliance include;

  • Designers
  • Engineers
  • Geologists
  • Archaeologists
  • Road and Construction Workers

Creating a War Memorial for all of New Zealand

A new Memorial Park will improve the setting of the National War Memorial and make a special –place to remember those that died in war.

  • The new Memorial Park will be built on top of State Highway One where Buckle Street goes underneath through a tunnel. 
  • In the centre will be the Ceremonial Plaza. This will be in front of the National War Memorial where Buckle Street used to be.
  • The park will reach from the Basin Reserve to Taranaki Street
  • A large grassed and paved area will be created for people to gather
  • Space has been left for new memorials from other countries

The Memorial Park will have;

  • The Carillon – a 74 bell tower
  • The Hall of Memories – an area with six mini-chapels at the base of the Carillon used for special services
  • The Tomb of the Unknown Warrior –  the tomb for an unidentified soldier who was one of the many New Zealand soldiers killed on the Somme in France during the First World War.

Creating the park

  • The drawings of Memorial Park are like a big picture with the final details yet to be filled in.
  • The Ceremonial Plaza will be a paved area between the National War Memorial and the boundary of Mount Cook School
  • Australia will build a war memorial on the Ceremonial Plaza. The memorial will be a tribute to our two countries’ shared military history. It will have columns of red sandstone and rows of gum trees that remind people of Australia.


Anzac Day, 25 April 1932: 50,000 people stand in silence for the dedication of the Carillon on Mount Cook/Pukeahu. Image: Alexander Turnbull Library. Photo: Sydney Charles Smith.


The new Memorial Park will allow a lot more people to gather to remember those who lost their lives in war. Image: NZTA


This aerial photo gives an overview of the construction site for Memorial Park showing the trench construction where Buckle Street used to be. Image: NZTA.

Visit your local war memorial. Find out about who it commemorates.