Medic mon­u­ment now a na­tional his­toric site

The Tribune (NZ) - - OUT & ABOUT - JA­NINE RANKIN

A re­vived army me­mo­rial in Palmer­ston North has been listed as a top­class his­toric place.

The Awa­puni Med­i­cal Corps Me­mo­rial has been recog­nised as a cat­e­gory 1 his­toric place, listed with Her­itage New Zealand.

The only known mon­u­ment in New Zealand ded­i­cated solely to com­mem­o­rat­ing mil­i­tary medics had be­come over­grown and lapsed into dis­re­pair over many decades, but af­ter a $200,000 restora­tion project, it was reded­i­cated in Oc­to­ber 2016.

Her­itage New Zealand her­itage ad­viser Blyss Wagstaff said the list­ing re­flected the me­mo­rial’s spe­cial sig­nif­i­cance as part of New Zealand’s cul­tural her­itage. ‘‘The Awa­puni Med­i­cal Corps Me­mo­rial is fully de­serv­ing of this recog­ni­tion, par­tic­u­larly af­ter the fan­tas­tic resto-

‘‘We don't want all that hard work un­done, and to have the cat­e­gory 1 list­ing is re­ally sig­nif­i­cant.’’ Darren Beck

ra­tion work un­der­taken by the New Zealand De­fence Force and sup­ported by the Manawatu Rac­ing Club,’’ she said.

The recog­ni­tion has de­lighted restora­tion project leader Darren Beck and Palmer­ston North de­fence her­itage ad­vi­sory group chair­man Joe Hol­lan­der.

Beck said it was im­por­tant that af­ter a three-year project, the re­stored me­mo­rial should be recog­nised and pro­tected. The her­itage list­ing, which would be re­flected in the city coun­cil’s Dis- trict Plan, helped en­sure it would be looked af­ter. ‘‘We don’t want all that hard work un­done, and to have the cat­e­gory 1 list­ing is re­ally sig­nif­i­cant.’’

He said part of the ap­pli­ca­tion for list­ing in­cluded a con­ser­va­tion plan, with a work list for fu­ture main­te­nance to keep the me­mo­rial foun­tain and pool work­ing and in good re­pair. The me­mo­rial was first un­veiled in 1929 to re­mem­ber the con­tri­bu­tion of the New Zealand Med­i­cal Corps dur­ing World War I. It was the only phys­i­cal re­minder of the im­por­tant role that Awa­puni Camp played in New Zealand’s pro­vi­sion of troops for WWI.

Awa­puni Camp was the largest of New Zealand’s four ini­tial mo­bil­i­sa­tion camps, and from Oc­to­ber 1915 be­came the spe­cialised train­ing camp for all of New Zealand’s mil­i­tary med­i­cal per­son­nel for the du­ra­tion of the war.

MUR­RAY WIL­SON/FAIR­FAX NZ

The Awa­puni Med­i­cal Me­mo­rial Reded­i­ca­tion Cer­e­mony at Awa­puni race­course.

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