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New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel attended a special ceremony yesterday to dedicate a new bronze sculpture of a World War I soldier on Sydney’s ANZAC Bridge.
Among the attendees were Prime Minister Helen Clark, New South Wales Premier Morris Iemma, the Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant General Jerry Mateparae, the Chief of the Australian Defence Force Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, New Zealand and Australian Government officials and veterans.
Lieutenant General Mateparae said, “The statues of the two soldiers are a fitting reminder to all of the sacrifice of the ANZAC servicemen and women, and the special bond between our two countries.
“The Anzac tradition continues today wherever we serve together. In the Solomon Islands, Timor Leste and at sea in the Middle East we work alongside the Australian Defence Force. Each year we also conduct a number of combined exercises, and share expertise and knowledge,” he said.
The statue compliments the statue of the Australian soldier which has stood at the western end of ANZAC Bridge since 2000.
The ceremony is the culmination of a joint project between the New Zealand and New South Wales Governments. Dunedin-born sculptor Alan Somerville was commissioned to sculpt and cast the New Zealand statue. The award-winning sculptor also created the Australian digger on ANZAC Bridge, the kiwi cobber’s mate.