News Item

Dedication of the Pacific Islands Memorial Te Reo Hotunui o Te Moana nui a Kiwa

Media 27 Mar 2021

The dedication of the new Pacific Islands Memorial - Te Reo Hotunui o Te Moana nui a Kiwa was held on 27 March 2021 at the Pukeahu National War Memorial Park in Wellington.

This event unveiled a 4-metre-high sculpture cast in bronze, designed by artist Michael Tuffery, laying the memorial which enables Pacific people to now be part of a very important annual ANZAC ceremony.

Te Reo Hotunui o te Moana nui a Kiwa, a name gifted by tangata whenua, meaning, ''The deep sigh of the Pacific'', acknowledging the contribution of Pacific soldiers right across Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia, who fought for New Zealand in the two World Wars, and later conflicts.

This special unveiling event was attended by visiting Prime Minister for the Cook Islands Brown, and our Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, alongside other New Zealand dignataries. It was hosted in association with Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage, Manatū Aorere Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Te Manatū ngā Iwi ō te Moana-nui-a- Kiwa Ministry for Pacific Peoples.

Prime Minister Jacinda Adern said, “The Pacific Islands Memorial Te Reo Hotunui o te Moana nui a Kiwa recognises the close relationship between Aotearoa New Zealand and other Pacific nations, acknowledging the region’s contribution during times of conflict and the shared history that strengthens our bond today.

“Pacific Islanders and New Zealanders fought side by side during many conflicts, including the First and Second World Wars, although our history goes much deeper than that.

“As a Pacific nation itself, Aotearoa is connected to all our Pacific neighbours by history, culture, politics, people, language and shared interests.

“This Memorial is an important addition to the Pukeahu National War Memorial Park,” Jacinda Ardern said.

You able to watch a live stream of this event here. Credit: Manatū Taonga

To learn more about the inspiration for, concept and design of Te Reo Hotunui o te Moana nui a Kiwa from Artist Michel Tuffery, you can read here and also a recent news article.

View more photos of the event here. Photos by Mark Tantrum for Manatu Taonga.

Image: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern unveiling a new war memorial, Te Reo Hotunui o Te Moana Nui a Kiwa, for the Pacific Islands. Source: Rosa Woods/Stuff.