Winning Erebus memorial design unveiled
Te Paerangi Ataata - Sky Song has been chosen as the design for New Zealand’s first national memorial to those who died in the Erebus disaster. Designed by Wellington firm Studio Pacific Architecture, it will be installed in Dove-Myer Robinson Park overlooking Taurarua Judge’s Bay, Auckland.
A panel, which included NZILA president Brad Coombs, chose the design after consulting relatives of the victims and people who worked on the recovery operation. It was created by artist Jason O’Hara and musician Warren Maxwell, and includes a walkway projecting to the horizon, with 257 snowflakes cut out of a stainless steel wall to represent the lives lost.
The designers describe Te Paerangi Ataata - Sky Song as a journey. “We look to the sky, and that sky is connected to the sky over Antarctica. The families waited and looked out to the sky, the lost departed into the sky, and their adventure was in the sky,” their submission said.
“The movement out to the horizon, openness, and the sky represents the journey and adventurous spirit of the crew and passengers towards the unknown and the future: a celebration of life.
“The movement back to the land reveals the reverse face of the Ice Wall and presents the names of those who lost their lives in the tragic event.”
Announcing the winning design Prime Minister Jacinda Adern said in a statement “The design reflects the enormity of the tragedy and provides a strong sense of connection and loss. The design has a strong narrative to engage visitors and provides a sanctuary within its walls, evoking the great emptiness experienced for those who lost their lives."
This year marks the 40th anniversary since sightseeing flight TE901 crashed into Mt Erebus in Antarctica, killing all 257 onboard. It’s the country’s worst ever aircraft crash.
The finished memorial is expected to be unveiled in May 2020.
‘Te Paerangi Ataata – Sky Song’
The horizon connects us, defying time and space.
For here, in this ancient place, we are standing together.
All the way south. We are connected.
Ahakoa te tāwhiti, kua tūhonongia a tāua e te pae nei.
I tēnei wāhi onamata, e tū ana a tāua inaianei.
Ki te tai tonga rā āno, kua tūhonongia a tāua