Three million dollars is being earmarked for the memorial to the 257 people who died when an Air New Zealand sightseeing flight crashed into the lower slopes of Mount Erebus in Antarctica in 1979.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who is the Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, said the wishes of the families were key to the choice of the gardens, also known as Dove-Myer Robinson Park and Taurarua Pā.
“I’m really pleased with the progress towards the creation of the memorial,” she said. “Erebus remains one of New Zealand’s worst civil disasters, and the memorial will recognise this event and honour the memory of those who died.
“The team at the Ministry for Culture and Heritage has been working closely with the families of the Erebus victims, to understand what they would like, as well as considering the requirements of a National Memorial.
“The ministry has also been working with Auckland Council, iwi, and community groups to select an appropriate site.”
The proposal to locate the memorial at the Rose Gardens will be submitted to the Waitematā Local Board next week.
The team surveyed families of the Erebus victims and received feedback on the selection of the site.
“The view of families has been key around site selection,” said Manatū Taonga, Ministry for Culture and Heritage acting chief executive Renee Graham.
Auckland’s Mayor Phil Goff said it was appropriate for the memorial to be in Auckland.
“Dove-Myer Robinson Park / Taurarua Pā is a beautiful site,” he said. “We’re pleased to have proposal that meets the wishes of many family members of the Erebus victims and acknowledges that the flight left from Auckland.
“Feedback included that the site be a place of peaceful contemplation and reflection and a place for informal family gatherings.”
The 40th anniversary of the Erebus disaster will be marked in November 2019 and the memorial will be established in early 2020.