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Ministerial briefings, memos

These documents relate to decision that Dove-Myer Robinson Park is no longer a suitable or safe site for the National Erebus Memorial and were released in May 2023.



23-MayCE MemoConstruction of the National Erebus Memorial (PDF 511 KB) 
23-MayAM2023/215National Erebus Memorial Decision-making and announcement on next steps (PDF 883 KB)


Six design teams were invited to submit concepts as part of the design competition for the National Erebus Memorial.  The winner Te Paerangi Ataata - Sky Song was selected by a expert panel, which included an which included an architect, a landscape architect, an artist and an urban planner, as well as two representatives from the Erebus families.    

Design Proposal 001 (Selected design) - Studio Pacific Architecture with Jason O'Hara and Warren Maxwell

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.

Touching lightly on the sacred clearing above the Judge’s Bay Taurarua and reflecting its setting through its mirror-like finish Te Paerangi Ataata - Sky Song projects boldly outward to the horizon and connects us to a different time and place through the concept of a shared sky.

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.

The concept is the experience of the visitor as they approach and venture along the walkway to the horizon, and as the story of what happened on that tragic day unfolds.

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.

The story is told by the forms and materials of the curving Snowdrift Wall, and the imposing Ice Wall, the lyrics of a song, and an Erebus Narrative.  The Memorial is linked to Antarctica by form and colour, and a listening place where the sounds of Antarctica resonate from the Ice Wall.

Te Paerangi Ataata - Sky Song speaks of adventure, and tragedy, joy and grief.

Te Paerangi Ataata - Sky Song concept design (PDF 5.6 MB)

Design Proposal 002 - Te Ropu (with SGA Ltd, Scott Design Xanthe White Design & David Trubridge)

This project undertakes not just the responsibility for the physical form of the memorial but a holistic process which offers opportunities for the families’ involvement from now, to its opening and beyond. With support from mana whenua we wish to invite the families to walk alongside us, to share stories, to share karakia and rituals. We wish for these moments to create the time and memories that are needed for the families to understand the gift of this already sacred place; one that includes the private moments of reflection as well as a public recognition of the loss that impacted on our nation. We want this to be a place that they can come to see as their own.

The physical experience is itself a journey through the waharoa (gateway) which presents the basic facts and marks this as a place of significance. It provides a guided journey that allows visitors time to contemplate the many names as people and loved ones. The story itself is told through the voices of the family marked. In hearing a range of expressions that speak different truths, we can create one in common. This creates a historical account through the voices of the people, to be shared with generations to come.

The physical journey is accompanied by soft terraces of planting so when in the space you always look over regenerating life to the significant views beyond. The journey ends with the white terraced walls coming together to form a physical expression that reflects the Antarctic, one that is vast and endless. Here we are given an opportunity to acknowledge the recovery team alongside all the seen and unseen heroes that wrapped around the families as this tragedy rippled through the nation.

Te Ropu concept design visual (PDF 19 MB)

Design Proposal 003 - RTA Studio

In a verdant harbour-side park, overlooking Taurarua (Judges Bay) to Maungauika (North Head) and Rangitoto, a new geological formation emerges from the gently sloping field – a metamorphic bedrock of memory, commemoration and knowledge – New Zealand’s National Erebus Memorial.

A prominent New Zealand Poet has written a poem specifically for this important national project.

Rising from the carved and eroded ground plane, two geological entities sit in balance. Way Point and Erebus Terrace.  One evokes the enormity of the Erebus accident, an event that buoyantly began with a promise of adventure but ended with incalculable loss and deep sorrow.  The other contains a stone excavated from the ground on which the accident happened, a tangible fragment of place, a conduit to a time and place that few have or will ever visit.

Way Point, in words evokes a sparse, vast emptiness – an allusion that captures both a sense of Antarctic geography and emotional desolation.  Its sky-reflecting monolithic form, a physical expression of the accident’s weighty impact, focuses the view outward and upward to distant harbour views and the vast expanse above.  Presenting an opportunity for the mind to expand into the void – to contemplate the accident’s many facets.  Looking to infinity, blending with the natural surrounding beauty, it is uplifting and forward focused.

At a more intimate scale, the Erebus Terrace, represents a physical connection to the site of the accident. Orientated on the axis south toward Mt Erebus, it presents a place that reflects upon the location and all the lives lost. Cut into the ground and cloaked by a shield that buffers the noise of the city and nurtures an environment of quite contemplation. A stone from Mt Erebus is placed upon the ley line to Antarctica offering a fragment as a touchstone at the foot of the poem.

Way Point concept design visual (PDF 12.4 MB)

Design Proposal 004 - Mitchell Stout Dodd Architects

On entering the Te Maunga Huka National Erebus Memorial visitors are greeted with a natural amphitheatre that slopes gently towards the Waitemata.

An enclosure of trees draws attention skyward. It is at once intimate and vast, and honours both this special site and those lost in the tragic event at Mount Erebus.

A terrace of steps carved into the landscape provides a sitting or standing platform for contemplation. The names of those lost in the accident are engraved on a white sloping surface which is read from the steps. Amongst the names, the shard form is pierced with holes, evoking a new constellation of stars. One star for each person lost. Sunlight penetrates the holes and shines onto a black granite pool below. This sculptural shard represents the slopes of Erebus as well as the shock and finality of the event. Pure water falls gently from it into the dark body of water over which it hovers.
A third pond embraces the whole and is filled with water lilies and fish representing life. At night this lily pond is illuminated from below by the Ara constellation seen in the Southern Hemisphere sky. A Mauri Stone from Mount Erebus is placed in the pond.

The use of stars, is a symbolic offering to provide clear vision for navigation and guidance to return the people homeland (Hawaiki). It also makes reference to the notion of people becoming stars when passing over. A number of constellations are proposed. Represented here is not only the shock of the accident as a shard, but the hope and healing brought to us in the stars and new life of the lilies.

Te Maunga Huka concept design visual (PDF 10.5 MB)

Design Proposal 005 - Sheppard and Rout Architects

Maunga / Kōhanga
Mountain / Nest

The cold, remote, and sublime Antarctic landscape seems far away from Auckland’s lush and green parks.  Mount Erebus comes to mind as a hostile, malevolent presence.  How can a memorial bring this landscape close?  How can this place embody empathy for the victims and connect with the mountain where they lost their lives?  The concept for Maunga / Kōhanga is of Mount Erebus travelling north to these shores, and rotating to become a welcoming nest.

Mount Erebus’s topographical contours, from the opposite side of the mountain to the crash site, create the nest: a grass amphitheatre. The top terrace is backed by a concrete wall, with four bronze panels draped over it, carrying information about the Tragedy; a whakataukī; the poem ‘Erebus Voices’; the 257 victims’ names; and gratitude for those who helped in recovery and identification. Passenger and crew names are configured in the seating plan for flight TE 901, capturing the meaningful connections between people as they made their exciting journey to Antarctica. The amphitheatre is a flexible space for formal civic functions, performances and exhibitions of Antarctic music and art, and  a welcoming place for everyday visitors.

It is a place to enjoy the view, to reflect on the Erebus Tragedy and on one’s own experiences of loss and adversity.  To lie back on the grass banks and watch the clouds in the sky … to sit on the grass terraces and stare in the distance…  An axis cut through the wall and expressed on the ground points to Mount Erebus; everyone entering or leaving through the formal entry is momentarily aligned with the mountain.  And an Erebus boulder sits next to the axis, on the seat, inviting a tactile engagement with the distant mountain, a reverberation between here and there.

Page 1 of Maunga / Kōhanga concept design visual (PDF 1.3 MB)

Page 2 of Maunga / Kōhanga concept design visual (PDF 1.8 MB)

Design Proposal 006 - Boffa Miskell Limited

Creating connections is a key outcome for this project. We look to the land for connection, orientation and direction. We pay homage to the ancient Mountains of Antarctica and the younger volcanoes of Aotearoa and Auckland, and acknowledge the separation of our lands by water. We acknowledge Mt Erebus as the tuakana (elder) and Rangitoto as the teina (younger). This also speaks to the spiritual connection the younger, present generations have to those who have departed.

The Mauri Stone concept has been part of voyaging cultures for a millennium and we want to acknowledge the customs of navigators past and present. The design proposes to utilise stone from Erebus and Rangitoto as a centre piece in the memorial to acknowledge both lands, the Mauri Stones will be carved by Mana Whenua artists to create another deeper connection to our indigenous culture. Over time the Mauri Stones will adapt and change through the touch of human hands. This is how visitors can touch, feel, and become part of the memorial.

The Mauri Stones sit at the centre of an Azimuthal Map, centred on Antarctica. This ‘upside down’ view of the world relates to how the world was turned upside down for the family members of those lost in the Erebus tragedy. This also resonates within Te Ao Māori where an upside down view expresses a different perspective, a change to the way we think, see and understand the world. Directional connections on the Azimuthal Map are created in stone sourced from each country as a further acknowledgement of the losses shared by others.

The Māori concept of love is intertwined throughout the memorial through the metaphor of a korowai or cloak. As a whole element the memories will be protected by the enveloping of He Korowai Aroha. The outer edge encircles the memories, and the inner edge allows us to acknowledge the pain of loss. Finally, there is lightness, as the memories are released upwards into the air.

Mauri Stone concept design visual (PDF 15.9 MB)


These reports relate to work undertaken from 2019 to 2023 when the proposed site for the National Erebus Memorial was Dove-Myer Robinson Park.



29-AprilENGEOUpdated Geotech Engineering Report (PDF 6.38 MB)


7-December Landowner approval (PDF 1.5 MB)
7-September Archaeological authority (PDF 207 KB)
1-July Archaeological assessment of effects (PDF 9.3 MB)
1-March Approved resource consent plans (PDF 14.4 MB)


16-October Arboricultural assessment (PDF 2.3 MB)
29-August Resource consent decision (PDF 343 KB)

National Erebus Memorial 2022 proactive release

These documents represent formal advice sent to Ministers that has been previously released under the Official Information Act. They do not include all papers where the Memorial is mentioned (for example, Status Reports to the Minister). Where papers have been withheld in full they have not been included. Redactions and withholding grounds were current as at the time of request and are consistent with the Official Information Act.



16-FebruaryBR2022/074Proactive Release of Cabinet Material: National Erebus Memorial – Further Funding (PDF 166 KB)


21-SeptemberBR2021/528National Erebus Memorial – Additional Funding (PDF 2.5 MB)
1-JulyAM2021/385National Erebus Memorial Update (PDF 228 KB)
11-JuneAM2021/339National Erebus Memorial: Update (PDF 102 KB)
21-MayAM2021/224National Erebus Memorial: Construction Delay Update (PDF 120 KB)
24-MarchAM2021/163National Erebus Memorial: Situation Update (PDF 134 KB)
5-MarchAM2021/131National Erebus Memorial: Construction Update (PDF 4.1 MB)
10-FebruaryAM2021/050National Erebus Memorial: Update and Construction Timeline (PDF 423 KB)


11-JuneBR2019/287National Erebus Memorial – Design update and 40th anniversary (1.6 MB)
3-AprilAM2018/183National Erebus Memorial Design Announcement – 3:00pm, 5 April 2019 (PDF 2.6 MB)
14-MarchBR2019/111National Erebus Memorial - Approval of Design (PDF 2.2 MB)
14-FebruaryAM2019/076National Erebus Memorial: The Six Submitted Designs (PDF 8.8 MB)


12-DecemberBR2018/706Erebus Meeting 28 November: Further Follow-Up Actions (PDF 2.6 MB)
6-DecemberBR2018/694National Erebus Memorial: Post-Families Meeting Update (PDF 410 KB)
26-NovemberAM2018/460National Erebus Memorial: Meeting with families and Ice Phase members (PDF 3.8 MB)
29-OctoberAM2018/614Speaking Notes: Cabinet’s Consideration of Funding for the National Erebus Memorial (PDF 1.2 MB)
18-OctoberBR2018/568National Erebus Memorial October Progress Report (PDF 1.9 MB)
27-SeptemberBR2018/532Draft Cabinet Paper National Erebus Memorial: Resourcing Requirements (PDF 1.1 MB)
7-SeptemberAM2018/514Aide Memoire: National Erebus Memorial (PDF 474 KB)
23-AugustBR2018/471National Erebus Memorial: August Progress Report, and Current Issues (PDF 3.1 MB)
14-JuneBR2018/407National Erebus Memorial: June 2018, No 2 (PDF 1.9 MB)
7-JuneBR2018/335National Erebus Memorial: June 2018 Update (PDF 1.9 MB)
15-MarchBR2017/164National Erebus Memorial - Progress Report (PDF 3.5 MB)
16-FebruaryAM2018/084Update on Meetings with Air New Zealand and Erebus Memorial Advocacy Group (PDF 1.4 MB)


18-DecemberAM2017/521Update on Erebus Memorial (PDF 630 KB)
24-NovemberBR2017/470Creating National Memorials to the 1979 Erebus Crash and other Disasters (PDF 2.7 MB)
6-JuneBR2017/242Creating National Memorials To Disasters: Next Steps, For Discussion With the Prime Minister (PDF 3.8 MB)
27-AprilBR2017/135Creating National Memorials To Disasters: Next Steps, For Discussion With the Prime Minister (PDF 2.5 MB)
23-MarchBR2017/084Creating National Memorials: Initial Investigations Into The Case For a National Erebus Memorial (PDF 3.8 MB)


20-OctoberAM2016/459Aide Memoire: Proposal to Establish a National Monument (PDF 1.7 MB)

Historical costs

What is the difference between the Erebus Memorial at Dove-Myer Robinson Park project, and the National Erebus Memorial?

The information on this page specifically relates to work undertaken when the proposed site for the National Erebus Memorial was Dove-Myer Robinson Park. In April 2023, Manatū Taonga  made the decision that Dove-Myer Robinson Park is no longer a suitable or safe site for the National Erebus Memorial. All costing information relating to that site has been collated on this page. These costs are as at 30 June 2023.

Information about the current National Erebus Memorial, and work post 30 June 2023 can be found on the page below.

National Erebus memorial

How much did the National Erebus Memorial at Dove-Myer Robinson Park Project cost?

As at 30 June 2023, the total capital expenditure on the National Erebus Memorial at Dove-Myer Robinson Park Project was $817,826. Of this capital expenditure, $238,548 was spent on materials and related specialist advice which are planned to be used for the future construction of the Memorial. Other costs incurred since the inception of the project are $2,064,748, bringing the total expenditure on the project to $2,882,574 (all costs are GST exclusive).

A breakdown of the total spend by cost type is as follows:

Materials 211,507
Consultants 791,219
- Design consultants677,218 
- Technical consultants78,477 
- Other consultants35,524 
Contractors 373,788
Consents 23,730
Security/Main contractor/Project management 1,133,858
Operating costs 348,47
Total 2,882,574

Responses to Official Information Requests

These responses to OIA requests relate to the National Erebus Memorial Dove-Myer Robinson Park Project.


DateReference Title


19-JanuaryDOIA23-138Number of recipients on email distribution list (PDF 215 KB)
19-JanuaryDOIA23-135Costs of the National Erebus Memorial up to 31 May 2023 (PDF 366 KB)
19-JanuaryDOIA23-112Documents relating to the National Erebus Memorial 27 January to 3 May 2023 (PDF 395 KB)
19-JanuaryDOIA23-108Costs of the National Erebus Memorial up to 30 April 2023 (PDF 378 KB)
19-JanuaryDOIA23-107Geotechnical survey information and decision to cancel Memorial (PDF 432 KB)
19-JanuaryDOIA23-103Internal discussions about geotechnical report and advice (PDF 395 KB)
19-JanuaryDOIA23-106, DOIA23-094Multiple requests for information post cliff-collapse (PDF 414 KB)
19-JanuaryDOIA23-092Request for geotechnical report after flooding (PDF 404 KB)
19-JanuaryDOIA23-072, DOIA23-075, DOIA23-084, DOIA23-086 Documents relating to the National Erebus Memorial 17 March to 16 April 2023 (PDF 426 KB) 
19-JanuaryDOIA23-067Memorial costs post-Boffa Miskell Report (PDF 352 KB)
19-JanuaryDOIA23-065Documents relating to the National Erebus Memorial 10 to 17 March 2023 (PDF 546 KB)
19-JanuaryDOIA23-061Request for cliff face photos (PDF 218 KB)
19-JanuaryDOIA23-060Numbers of Erebus families who contacted Ministry in October (PDF 588 KB)
19-JanuaryDOIA23-058Copies of engineering and geotechnical reports commissioned since April 2018 (PDF 323 KB)
19-JanuaryDOIA23-047, DOIA23-057Costs and documents relating to the National Erebus Memorial 3 to 17 March (PDF 395 KB) 
19-JanuaryDOIA23-044Documents relating to the National Erebus Memorial 2 to 23 February 2023 (PDF 359 KB)
19-JanuaryDOIA23-041Engineering and geotechnical reports commissioned since April 2018 (PDF 189 KB)
19-JanuaryDOIA23-018Costs and cliff collapse information relating to the National Erebus Memorial up to 31 January 2023 (PDF 448 KB)
19-JanuaryDOIA23-015Contract for Erebus Memorial Site Lead (PDF 385 KB)
19-JanuaryDOIA23-004Documents relating to the National Erebus Memorial 25 November to 16 December 2022 (PDF 936 KB)
19-JanuaryDOIA22-288OIA statistics November 2018 to December 2022 (PDF 117 KB)
19-JanuaryDOIA22-277Documents relating to the National Erebus Memorial 21 October to 4 November 2022 (PDF 608 KB)
19-JanuaryDOIA22-036Documents relating to the National Erebus Memorial 2 to 10 February 2023 (PDF 646 KB)


30-AprilDOIA22-211National Erebus Memorial CCTV footage (PDF 86 KB)
4-AprilDOIA22-257, DOIA22-258National Erebus Memorial code of conduct and CCTV camera question (PDF 110 KB) 
4-AprilDOIA22-270Attendee numbers at National Erebus Memorial event (PDF 377 KB)
4-AprilDOIA22-261National Erebus Memorial Privacy Impact Statement (PDF 109 KB)
3-AprilDOIA22-245National Erebus Memorial costs as at 31 October 2022 (PDF 195 KB)
3-AprilDOIA22-218National Erebus Memorial costs as at 30 September 2022 (PDF 392 KB)
3-AprilDOIA22-192, DOIA22-196National Erebus Memorial costs as at 31 August 2022 (PDF 388 KB)
3-AprilDOIA22-263, DOIA22-268National Erebus Memorial documents sent to Ministers 04 November to 18 November 2022 (PDF 129 KB)
3-AprilDOIA22-237National Erebus Memorial documents sent to Ministers 07 October to 21 October 2022 (PDF 95 KB)
3-AprilDOIA22-210, DOIA22-224National Erebus Memorial documents sent to Ministers 09 September to 07 October 2022 (PDF 109 KB)
3-AprilDOIA22-188, DOIA22-198National Erebus Memorial documents sent to Ministers 12 August to 09 September 2022 (PDF 355 KB)
16-FebruaryDOIA22-101, DOIA22-106Security cameras for National Erebus Memorial (PDF 55 KB)
18-JanuaryDOIA22-102Costs of fencing and security for National Erebus Memorial (PDF 96 KB)
18-JanuaryDOIA22-177Make and model of CCTV for National Erebus Memorial (PDF 71 KB)
18-JanuaryDOIA22-126Facilitation process for National Erebus Memorial (PDF 455 KB)
18-JanuaryDOIA22-176Costs of National Erebus Memorial as at 31 July 2022 (PDF 316 KB)
18-JanuaryDOIA22-178National Erebus Memorial documents sent to Ministers 28 July to 11 August 2022 (PDF 97 KB)
18-JanuaryDOIA22-153Documents relating to the National Erebus Memorial 01 May to 31 July 2022 (PDF 446 KB)