|A new Education Centre at the Pukeahu National War Memorial Park in Wellington has been chosen as the gift from New Zealand to mark the Queen’s 90th birthday.
“The Queen has agreed to the new centre being named the Queen Elizabeth II Pukeahu Education Centre,” Prime Minister John Key said at the announcement on 7 June.
“This Education Centre, in the former Home of Compassion crèche, will be a lasting tribute to Her Majesty’s long life of service. It is also a real enhancement for the Park, giving school students and visitors a place to learn more about Pukeahu and New Zealand’s experience of military conflict, peace keeping and commemoration.”
Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Maggie Barry says the Education Centre will be an excellent home for education programmes.
Housed in the Category 1-listed former Home of Compassion crèche, the centre is staffed by two educators who run the programme for visiting students. More than 12,000 have participated since the Park opened in April 2015, and feedback has been very positive.
“The interior of the building has been converted into a classroom teaching space, which can also be used by community groups when not being used for education,” Ms Barry says.
“The educators work closely with the Great War Exhibition, housed in the nearby former Dominion Museum building, to ensure schools and their pupils get the best possible experience from their visit.”
The centre will also include a small display honouring Mother Aubert and the Sisters of Compassion, and encouraging anyone interested in knowing more about their work to visit the Home of Compassion site in Island Bay.
An event to celebrate the opening of the Queen Elizabeth II Pukeahu Education Centre will be held later this year.