NZ and Aust are family, says Abbott

Prime Minister Tony Abbott is in New Zealand to take part in Anzac centenary commemorations

Prime Minister Tony Abbott says a memorial for Australians in the NZ capital Wellington is a reminder of the ties between the two countries.

Mr Abbott is in Wellington on Monday for a dedication ceremony for the Australian Memorial at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park.

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key opened the park in Wellington on Saturday in time for the 100th anniversary of the landing of Anzac troops on Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey on April 25, 1915.

Mr Abbott arrived in the country on Sunday to take part in the ceremony, before heading to Gallipoli on Tuesday.

“This memorial is a reminder of the deep ties between our two nations,” Mr Abbott, who is married to a New Zealander, said.

“We are more than friends, we are family.”

Mr Key says the park is a place where people can commemorate and reflect on the New Zealand’s history and partnership with countries such as Australia.

“The Australian Memorial is positioned right in the heart of the park, befitting of the close and enduring relationship between our two nations.”

It’s Mr Abbott’s second official trip across the ditch and follows bilateral talks in February.

Following the ceremony the prime ministers will visit Gallipoli: The Scale of Our War exhibition at Te Papa. The $8 million exhibition includes figures 2.4 times human scale created by Richard Taylor’s Weta Workshop.

Pukeahu took more than two years to construct. It has 165 trees from six different species, including natives, and eucalyptus trees in the Australian Memorial.

[Read SBS source]

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