Concept of the Erebus Memorial
Concept of the Erebus Memorial

Danny Watson: A fitting place for the Erebus memorial

Danny and Leah 05/03/2021

OPINION: Kia ora Whanau, yesterday, Thursday 4th , we took some great calls about the Erebus crash.

Those calls reignited memories, and for some of those callers and many of our listeners even after forty years the memories of that fateful event are still raw.

On 28 th November 1979. Air New Zealand Flight TE901 crashed into the lower slopes of Mount Erebus in Antarctica, killing all 237 passengers and 20 crew on board.

The discussion on Magic Talk came about an interview with Dame Naida Glavish, who along with many others believes the site for the National Erubus Memorial should not be placed in the Dove-Myer Robinson Park in Parnell, Auckland.

Named after Sir Dove-Myer Robinson, the popular and longest-serving (18 years) mayor of Auckland, the park is home to the Parnell Rose Gardens, the Nancy Steen Gardens and is an Historical Pa site Mataharehare.

Callers suggested that Parnell had no connection with the disaster and it should be placed at the Antarctic Centre in Christchurch near the airport.

For me the fitting place, as suggested by a listener is beside the Southern Motorway connection looking out over the Auckland Airport and the Manukau Harbour. This is where that fateful flight left from. What better place than for those of us that want to sit and contemplate the flight of their memory and their wairua off into the clouds.

“Moe mai ngā mate I tō moenga roa. Pikia atu te ara ki Te Reinga, hoki atu ki te kāinga o te Kaihanga.”

To the dead, sleep in your final resting place. Ascend to the departing place of spirits, return to the maker.

(Photos include a picture of the original wooded memorial cross on Mt Erebus and a photo of the Cross that replaced it.

A picture of the Mountain, one of the Glacier coming off the Mountain and one pic of me inside that glacier.)

This oped was written by Magic Afternoons co-host Danny Watson, on with Leah Panapa every weekday from 12pm - 4pm on Magic Talk.