The New Zealand Memorial Museum Trust – Le Quesnoy was registered as a charity in 2011 with the aim of getting a New Zealand facility established on the Western Front. Its work has been entirely funded by donations.
After many years of searching and planning, the trust purchased the historic former WWI mayoral residence and grounds in Le Quesnoy, France in 2017. The most recent use of the building was as the local Gendarmerie (Police Headquarters) before the trust purchased it as a vacant building. The site also comes with a group of unoccupied accommodation units, in need of renovation. We hope that these buildings, once renovated, will be a useful income stream to offset the operational cost of the NZ experience intended for the site.
With the property paid off by the end of 2020, the focus turned to planning the renovation of the manor house and what the experience could entail, with the aim of a phased opening from 2023 onwards.
Alongside the development of the building and grounds, the trust has an educational purpose, providing information and learning resources to visitors to the site, and students in the NZ education system, and to raise awareness of New Zealand’s contribution to World War I. We also have a focus on facilitating cultural and educational exchange programmes between New Zealand and Le Quesnoy.
We want to provide a focal point and place of pilgrimage for all New Zealanders in the facility we have planned in Le Quesnoy, by creating an immersive and emotive place of connection with both the past and the present. By having a living, interactive memorial, our wish is to provoke thought in those who visit about the cost of freedom and the joy of friendship between Le Quesnoy and New Zealand. In partnership with the people of Le Quesnoy we are building a living memorial that will inspire all who visit to not only remember the past, but to think about the part they play in their own future, and the world they live in today.
To honour New Zealand’s contribution to World War I on the Western Front.
To create a ‘Kiwi place’ in France, where memories and relationships are alive.
To provide a facility and experience that honours freedom, celebrates friendship, and inspires the future.
Rt Hon. Helen Clark ONZ SSI PC
Rt Hon. Sir Donald McKinnon ONZ GCVO PC (Chair)
Major Mark Hall (retd) ED (Deputy Chair)
Rt Hon. Sir Lockwood Smith KNZM PhD
Britson (Buddy) Mikaere
Herb Farrant FNZIOB
Friends Emeritus of the New Zealand Memorial Museum at Le Quesnoy
Rt Hon. Sir Anand Satyanand GNZM QSO KStJ
Rt Hon. Lt. Gen. Sir Jerry Mateparae GNZM QSO KS
Dame Jenny Gibbs DNZM