Media Release RE National Erebus Memorial From Rev Dr Richard Waugh (initiator Of The National Memorial Project)

Published: Fri 28 Apr 2023 12:44 PM
“As the initiator of the National Erebus Memorial over seven years ago, it is a matter of real regret to me, and the Erebus families I am sure, that the process has taken so long to establish the national memorial to the Erebus air accident of 1979, still New Zealand’s worst peacetime disaster. From the recent report and photographs the recent extreme weather events have clearly rendered the Dove-Myer Robinson Park site unusable as a safe memorial site.
I commend the Government, the Ministry of Culture & Heritage, Ngati Whatua Orakei, and Auckland Council as they now consider the best new site. I recall the significant consultation with Erebus families about the key characteristics regarding the memorial and site; which indicated families wanted a memorial that was easily accessible, attractive, and not in a cemetery nor at Auckland International Airport.
I am confident about the new planning processes outlined by the Ministry that the families’ views will be well taken into account as a new site is decided upon. I would ask all New Zealanders to continue to be respectful to the bereaved Erebus families and for us collectively to do all we can to ensure that a suitable, welcoming National Erebus Memorial is established. Further, as an aviation chaplain, my plea would be for pastoral urgency, as some senior Erebus family members, particularly the many surviving spouses and siblings of victims, are now elderly and do not want to miss the very special opening and dedication of the National Erebus Memorial.”

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