Built in 2015, the park in Pukeahu/Mount Cook enhances the setting for the National War Memorial building and commemorates the First World War centenary.
The flowers and trees within the park are living memorials of New Zealand’s military history. Rengarenga lilies symbolise the peace achieved on Armistice Day. The pōhutukawa tree’s red flowers represent the blood of Tāwhaki, a Māori spirit ancestor who guides the way from earth to heaven. Olive trees are a universal symbol of peace and friendship, while rosemary symbolises remembrance for all those who have died.
Overlooking the park, the 50-metre-tall National War Memorial Building and Carillon Tower has been a prominent feature on the Wellington skyline since its opening on Anzac Day 1932. At the base of the Carillon Tower, the Hall of Memories serves as the commemorative chapel.
Other features of the park include The Tomb of the Unknown Warrior which sits in front of the carillon tower. It is the symbol of remembrance for all New Zealanders who did not make the journey home after serving their country overseas and have no known grave. The bronze sculpture ‘The Man with the Donkey’ commemorates all medical personnel who served alongside New Zealand troops in wartime. Another bronze sculpture of a , Hinerangi, faces the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior ready to .
Pukeahu is also a place for memorials gifted to New Zealand from countries with a shared military heritage. There are currently eight international memorials dotted throughout the park from Australia, Turkey, the United Kingdom, France, the United States, Belgium, Germany, and the Pacific Islands.