Story: Australia and New Zealand

Opening the New Zealand memorial, Canberra

Opening the New Zealand memorial, Canberra

Australian Prime Minister John Howard and New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark stand in front of the New Zealand memorial in Canberra, Australia, at its opening in April 2001 (left image). The right image shows a Māori warrior participating in the opening.

The memorial symbolises the close relationship between Australia and New Zealand. It takes the form of two handles of a kete (woven basket) expressing the idea of the two countries sharing a burden. However, the base of each kete handle is quite different. On the Australian side the paving has an Aboriginal motif designed by Daisy Nadjungdanga from Maningruda in the Northern Territory. The New Zealand handle stands on a paving of Māori design which was the work of Toi te Rito Maihi and Allen Wihongi from Northland. The memorial expresses well the fact that the two countries have shared much of their experience and culture since European colonisation, but that their indigenous peoples had no contact and very different traditions.

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How to cite this page:

Philippa Mein Smith, 'Australia and New Zealand - Shared colonial history', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 6 June 2023)

Story by Philippa Mein Smith, published 20 Jun 2012