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Final Project Update 2015

The Buckle Street underpass is complete and construction of Pukeahu National War Memorial Park will be finished by the end of March 2015, ahead of schedule.

Construction of Pukeahu National War Memorial Park is the last stage in the three year Memorial Park project where roads have been constructed, changed, upgraded and directed underground in the Buckle Street underpass.

The project is ahead of schedule and will be almost complete in time for the fourth and final LEARNZ field trip.

Overview of the third field trip

  • You were able to drive through the completed Arras Tunnel and find out why it has been named ‘Arras’ and why it is lined with poppies.
  • By visiting the TOC (Traffic Operations Centre) at Johnsonville you saw how the roading network in Wellington, including the Arras Tunnel, is monitored to keep drivers safe.
  • You also looked at the software used to monitor traffic incidents, fire and ventilation in the Arras Tunnel.
  • Now that the underpass has been completed you saw the construction of the park above the tunnel, including the creation of terraces, paving and retaining walls.
  • You saw the relocated historic Home of Compassion Crèche on its new site in the park.
  • You looked at the park design and construction of the rain gardens, tree pits and landscaping with hard materials.
  • Matthew Tonks from the Ministry of Culture and Heritage talked about preparations for the Anzac Day 2015 commemorations at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park and how you can get involved in WW100 events in your own local area.

Take a look at Field Trip 1 in November 2013 to see how the project has progressed.

What’s currently happening at Memorial Park?

During January and February 2015, Pukeahu National War Memorial Park has been turning green as trees and garden plantings are completed. 

Park construction:

  • Turf for lawns will be laid at the end of February, though grass seed was sown in January in the patch between the asphalt and plantings outside the Tasman Gardens Apartments. 
  • The entrance pavilions will be completed.
  • The Tangata Whenua Gardens are being constructed and an iwi carver is working on carving symbols into three large rocks representing the Taranaki, Ruapehu and Tongariro mountains.
  • The Australian War Memorial is being constructed, including red sandstone blocks being fitted all the way up the 15 steel columns of the memorial in the centre of the park. 
  • The Home of Compassion Crèche restoration is well underway and landscaping will begin outside.

Roads and pathways:

  • A path across the park has been opened to allow access for pedestrians.
  • Kerbing and road works from Tasman Street to Massey University entrance will be completed.
  • Massey University traffic will soon be able to exit via Taranaki Street.
  • The Tasman-Tory road link is being completed and will be ready to open to traffic later in March.

During the fourth field trip you will see the completed park, help prepare for Anzac Day 2015 and participate in the dawn ceremony to bless the park.

Outside the Carillon you can see the paving that is being laid in the park. Image: NZTA.


Red Sandstone is being placed on steel columns as part of the Australian War Memorial in the park. Why do you think there is an Australian War Memorial in this park? Image: NZTA.


The park is slowly turning green as trees are planted. Can you see the rain gardens - how do these work? Image: NZTA.


The Home of Compassion Crèche restoration is well underway and landscaping will soon begin outside. Where did this building used to be located and how was it shifted? Image: NZTA.


The Arras Tunnel has been open since September 2014 allowing work on Pukeahu National War Memorial Park to begin. Image: NZTA.


This is an artist's impression of what the park will look like when it is completed. Image: NZTA.

Take a look at what the completed Pukeahu National War Memorial Park will look like on the NZTA website. Think of what you might change or add to the park to reflect your ideas of how your class can commemorate those who have served at war.