The World War II New Zealand Memorial is located in Pukeahu National War Memorial Park in Wellington, New Zealand. This memorial commemorates the Allied defense of the nation during World War II as well as the enduring bonds forged between the United States and New Zealand during the war.
An estimated total of 100,000 Americans were stationed in New Zealand during World War II. While no battles occurred here, New Zealand’s geographic location proved important in America’s South Pacific military strategy—specifically as a staging base for operations in the region. Further, America’s presence also served as a deterrent to possible Japanese invasion.
This memorial, a granite tablet, is surrounded by trees native to New Zealand. The tablet has an intentional subtle profile in the ground, and includes an inscription on parts of the granite that are intended to look like waves. The inscription is from a radio address delivered on ANZAC Day, April 23, 1943 by U.S. Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox:
"Together, in our strength, we shall keep that ocean—Pacific! ... as we are comrades in battle, so we shall be partners in victory. I salute the lands of the Anzacs as our companions in the peace that will follow, comrades and partners as an example to all the world of what can be accomplished by a fraternity of free men."
The U.S. presence in New Zealand began when troops of the 37th Infantry Division landed in Auckland on June 12, 1942, followed by the 1st Marine Division, which arrived at Wellington two days later. From early summer 1942 until early fall 1944, New Zealand hosted between 15,000 and 45,000 U.S. service members at any given time. As the war moved farther north, however, fewer Americans were stationed there. The last Marine Corps units left in November 1943. The last major Army unit, the 43rd Infantry Division, departed July 1944.
A plaque will also be placed on site to provide historical context for this memorial. Dedicated on December 10, 2018 this memorial is the 30th managed by ABMC.
Pukeahu National War Memorial
State Highway 1 Te Aro
The New Zealand Memorial is located outside in Pukeahu National War Memorial Park.
New Zealand Memorial
Pukeahu National War Memorial Park
State Highway 1
Travel via Car
The memorial park is located on State Highway 1/Buckle Street. Public parking, including accessible parking bays, is available at the front of the Dominion Museum. Entry by car is via Tory/Tasman Streets through Pukeahu National War Memorial Park. Exit is via Taranaki Street.
Travel via Airplane
Wellington International Airport is about five miles from the memorial park.
Travel via Public Transportation
If arriving by bus, use the Go Wellington services of bus line 10, 11, 18, 21 or 47, which travel along Taranaki Street. The closest bus stop is just past the intersection with Buckle Street.
Many hotels are available in the Wellington area.