NZ'S FIRST WORLD WAR CENTENARY 2014–2019

Ngā Tapuwae New Zealand First World War Trails interpretative sign unveiled

17 October 2014

“The Nga Tapuwae New Zealand First World War Trails project means people can follow in the footsteps of this missing, wounded, changed generation of New Zealanders. Most of them, including my grandfather, left from this shoreline. The First World War had a lasting impact on our nation.” said Minister for Arts Culture and Heritage, Hon Maggie Barry.

Hon Maggie Barry, and Hon Craig Foss Minister for Veterans’ Affairs unveiled the Ngā Tapuwae New Zealand First World War Trails interpretative sign, deftly reefing a billowing charcoal cover against the gale sweeping over the Western hills off the Tasman Sea. The sign marks the centenary of the departure of the first fleet of troop ships to the First World War in the northern hemisphere.

Australian Minister for Veterans Affairs, Senator Michael Ronaldson, who is responsible for the Australian 100 Years of Anzac centenary and Neill Atkinson, Chief Historian Ministry for Culture and Heritage provided comments on the significance of the First World War from New Zealand and Australian perspectives.

Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, Hon Maggie Barry addresses diplomats and invited guests on The Promenade, Wellington Waterfront.

Australian Minister for Veterans Affairs, Senator Michael Ronaldson, Minister for Arts Culture and Heritage, Hon Maggie Barry, Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Hon Craig Foss, His Excellency Mr Michael Potts High Commissioner from Australia arrive at the Promenade, Wellington Waterfront for an event marking the departure of New Zealand troops to the First World War.

The Ngā Tapuwae New Zealand First World War Trails project will tell the story of New Zealanders in the First World War, using immersive app and web tools as well as interpretative signs.

View the programme from the ceremony

Perspectives on the poignant story of departing soldiers: their optimism, the atmosphere around volunteering, their Wellington experience and life on the ships, the mementos linking them to home; is presented in short videos by cultural commentators for this occasion. Available progressively, the first three are now available on the WW100 YouTube channel.

Read an historical outline of the departure

ENDS

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