Medic monument now a national historic site
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.
The Awapuni Medical Memorial Rededication Ceremony at Awapuni racecourse.