INDEPENDENT NEWS

Queen to attend unveiling of New Zealand Memorial

Published: Tue 31 Oct 2006 11:57 AM
Rt Hon Helen Clark
Prime Minister of New Zealand
31 October 2006 Media Statement
Queen to attend unveiling of New Zealand Memorial
Prime Minister Helen Clark welcomed today’s announcement that the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will participate in the official dedication ceremony for the New Zealand Memorial in London on Armistice Day, 11 November.
“The unveiling in November will be a significant event,” Helen Clark said.
“There will be around seven hundred invited guests, and a contingent of 320 people, including veterans and a New Zealand tri-service Royal Guard of Honour, who will travel to London from New Zealand.
“I am delighted that the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, accompanied by other members of the Royal family, have accepted the New Zealand Government’s invitation to the ceremony this Armistice Day. Their presence symbolises the strength of the bonds between the United Kingdom and New Zealand, and means a great deal to the veterans and others attending.
“The New Zealand Memorial in London is a tribute to the deep and longstanding relationship which exists between New Zealand and the United Kingdom. It commemorates the shared sacrifice of British and New Zealand service personnel, and also celebrates the wider social, cultural, and economic ties between New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
“The memorial will also provide a fitting venue for New Zealanders in Britain to commemorate Waitangi Day and Anzac Day, and will be a place for British people to learn something of the relationship between our two countries.”
The New Zealand contingent will be led by Prime Minister Helen Clark and will include parliamentarians; the Chief Of Defence Force, Lieutenant General Jerry Mateparae, and NZDF personnel; veterans; and other official representatives.
New Zealand singers Dave Dobbyn and Hayley Westenra will perform at the ceremony. The New Zealand Defence Force group will include a 129-person ceremonial Royal Guard of Honour, a cultural group, and a Defence Force band.
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Note to Editors:
- High Resolution Memorial Pictures for free download and additional information are available at: www.londonmemorial.govt.nz
- The project is being managed by the New Zealand Ministry for Culture and Heritage, in consultation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, New Zealand Defence Force, Veterans' Affairs New Zealand; and in London, in cooperation with English Heritage and the Westminster City Council.
- The New Zealand Government is funding the $3 million (£1 million) project.
- Leading up to the dedication ceremony, there is an exhibition inside the Wellington Arch at Hyde Park Corner explaining the background to the memorial and the design concept, and giving some insight into the images and text which adorn the sculptures.
ENDS

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