Two hundred and fifty-seven people died when Air New Zealand flight 901 crashed into Mt Erebus in Antarctica on 28 November 1979. It remains the worst aviation tragedy in New Zealand's history.
The New Zealand Government is proposing to fund the construction of a National Erebus Memorial in Dove-Myer Robinson Park (Parnell Rose Gardens) to acknowledge the impact the event had on the families involved and the nation.
Selection of the National Erebus Memorial project site
Manatū Taonga, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage (MCH) is leading the project.
At the ministry's request we provided a shortlist of five potential sites in central Auckland for the memorial. Refer to council report (see item 13).
The site needed to meet criteria which included:
- suitability for formal and informal events
- compatibility with use of adjacent space.
After reviewing the proposed sites MCH selected Dove-Myer Robinson Park in Parnell as the preferred location for the memorial.
The site, which overlooks the Waitematā Harbour, also fulfilled the strong desire for a peaceful park-like setting which was expressed by family members of those who lost their lives in the Erebus crash.
In November 2018, the Waitematā Local Board provided landowner approval in principle. Refer to local board resolution (see item 13)
About the National Erebus Memorial project
MCH organised a National Erebus Memorial design competition in late 2018. The winning design Te Paerangi Ataata – Sky Song, which depicts a walkway leading off into the horizon, was chosen by an expert panel and unveiled in April 2019.
The design, created by Wellington firm Studio Pacific Architecture, has also been reviewed by the Waitematā Local Board and the Auckland Urban Design Panel against the following park criteria:
- blend with, and be sympathetic to, the natural environment
- protect view shafts
- maintain open space values
- allow multiple uses of the area
- be consistent with the heritage and mana whenua values of the park
- accommodate current use types / patterns
- increase the use levels of this area of the park
- provide additional amenity value.
The proposed location for the memorial is in the north eastern corner of the park in an area that is enclosed by mature specimen trees. These trees and the sloping nature of the site mean the memorial will not be visible from the majority of other locations within the park.
The memorial will provide a new landscape element in the park, but views to the harbour will continue to be enjoyed from this location along with opportunity for picnicking and quiet respite.
The site’s heritage values through careful monitoring during construction will not be impacted nor the magnificent mature trees that give the site much of its beauty and character.
MCH consulted with Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei in November 2018 and wider consultation with mana whenua has also been undertaken. Erebus families were also consulted, and their feedback helped inform the design brief.
MCH worked closely with, and sought approval in principle from, the Waitematā Local Board. It has also met with Parnell Heritage Inc and the Parnell Community Committee as well as a number of other individuals with an interest in the memorial site.
The Waitematā Local Board made the decision to consult with the
community on the landowner approval at their September business meeting. Refer to local board resolution (see item 36)
What we want your feedback on
We'd like to know if building the National Erebus Memorial on council-owned land in Dove-Myer Robinson Park:
- would impact your experience of visiting the park
- would affect how often you'd visit
- whether you have any other comments to make.
When you can have your say
You can have your say until midnight Tuesday 29 October 2019.
Find out how to have your say
What happens next
After the consultation closes the Waitematā Local Board will need to make a decision on whether landowner approval should be given to the Ministry for Culture and Heritage Design in Dove-Myer Robinson Park.
If landowner approval is granted, building of the National Erebus Memorial will start in early 2020 and will take approximately six months to build.