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Massey Memorial

Ticket Information

  • Admission: Free

The Massey Memorial at Point Halswell, Wellington, commemorates William Ferguson Massey, Prime Minister of New Zealand from 1912-1925.

Originally known by its Māori name, Kaitawharo ('to eat jellyfish'), Point Halswell was renamed after the Commissioner of Native Reserves, Edmond Halswell, who arrived in New Zealand in 1841. In 1886, because of fears about Russia's presence in the Pacific following the Crimean War, an 8" gun emplacement was constructed on the site. The gun pit was later incorporated into the design of William Ferguson Massey's tomb underneath the Memorial.

Shortly after Massey's death in 1925, the Massey Burial Ground Act was passed allocating land at Point Halswell to be set aside as a burial ground for him and his widow. Public subscriptions raised funds totalling £5,000 and the government contributed £10,000. Auckland architects Gummer and Ford and consulting architect Samuel Hurst Seager were engaged to design a fitting tomb and memorial. Gummer and Ford were responsible for designing numerous war memorials around New Zealand, including the National War Memorial in Wellington. Seager had also designed a number of memorials in New Zealand, and is best known for the New Zealand War Memorial at Chunuk Bair, Gallipoli.

The Memorial was built by the firm of Hansford and Mills Construction. They were also responsible for building Parliament Buildings and the Mount Victoria Tunnel. The exterior of the memorial was laid with a base of Coromandel granite covered with Kairuru marble from the Company's own quarry near Takaka. The Memorial was completed in July 1930 and was unveiled by His Excellency the Governor-General, Lord Bledisloe, on 19 September 1930.

The lawns around the memorial provide extensive views of Wellington Harbour from Evans Bay to the Eastbourne, including the CBD.

Map showing Massey Memorial

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