At a special ceremony, at Wai-titi Landing, Outdoor Trust CEO Jim Walker, gave the first bronze marker for the first Commonwealth Walkway in New Zealand to The City of Wellington as a gift to celebrate 150 years of being the Capital.
The marker was then placed in the ground by the Chair of the Commonwealth Foundation His Excellency Sir Anand Satyanand, Her Worship the Mayor of Wellington Celia Wade-Brown, and Kura Moeahu of Taranaki Whānui ki te Upoko o te Ika a Māui to officially launch the Commonwealth Walkway in Wellington.
Wai-titi Landing, adjacent to New Zealand’s Parliament Grounds, was once a waka landing beach used by Te Atiawa and other Taranaki Tribes and Taranaki Whanui in pre-European times.
Wellington’s Commonwealth Walkway joins a network of Walkways in cities across the countries of the Commonwealth, to honour te Tiriti o Waitangi leading to Aotearoa New Zealand’s inclusion as a Commonwealth Nation and serve as a permanent recognition of the role of Her Majesty The Queen as Head of the Commonwealth for 63 years.
The Mayor of Wellington said "The Commonwealth Walkway will link many of the significant sites in Wellington, the Capital of Aotearoa New Zealand, conveying the shared heritage, cultures and values of the Commonwealth to be shared by both residents and visitors".
After the ceremony a magnificent light show projected the story of Wellington onto New Zealand's Parliament building. The show, watched by more than 15,000 people, included turning the famous MP offices (known locally as 'the Beehive') into a birthday cake and the crowd then enjoyed colelctively blowing out the candles.
Mayor of Wellington Celia Wade Brown overseeing the installation of the first Commonwealth Walkway marker in the City as part of the 150 Capital birthday celebrations.
The Speaker of The House of Representatives, Rt Hon David Carter, later kindly entertained the Trust and Mayor in his private offices. He confirmed that it was a very special day for Wellington and the Trust were particluarly delgihted that the commitment to a Commonwealth Walkway was seen as one of the first steps towards the next 150 years.
The Mayor of Wellington, Celia Wade Brown with Trust CEO Jim Walker and The Speaker of the House The Rt Hon David Carter.