New Zealand Defence Force
Te Ope Kaatua O Aotearoa
21 October 2008
Medals Return Home
[Please note: embargoed until 21 October 2008]
The New Zealand Army is today celebrating the return of the 96 gallantry medals to the Army Museum Waiouru. All 12 medal sets will be placed in the Valour Alcove by midday today and the public will be able to view them from 1pm.
“The Army Museum Waiouru is the home for New Zealand’s Army military heritage and taonga. It is fantastic that we can celebrate the return and display of these medal sets for all New Zealanders to enjoy once again,” Chief of Army Major General Lou Gardiner said.
The handing back of the medals into the Museum’s care begins with a powhiri at the New Zealand Army National Marae this morning at 7am. The medals will be blessed and three local Iwi from the area, Ngati Rangi, Ngati Tuwharetoa and Ngati Tumatauenga will be represented.
At 9.30am the formal handover ceremony of the medals from the New Zealand Police to the Queen Elizabeth II Army Memorial Museum will take place.
The family members will then lodge their respective medal groups into the Valour Alcove in what is expected to be the most emotional event of the day.
“The theft was a theft from the nation and we acknowledge the support of the New Zealand public in helping return these treasures home. It is their support and the public outcry that help brought about the successful return of the medals,“ said Maj Gen Gardiner.
“The Army and the Museum’s Trust are committed to its responsibility to care for, and display the medals on behalf of all New Zealanders, particularly those that have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.“
Visit www.nzdf.mil.nz for the full Medals Return Media Kit