“Today I joined the Prime Minister in a ground breaking ceremony to mark the start of construction on the Memorial, alongside Mayor Lianne Dalziel and Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu Kaiwhakahaere Tā Mark Solomon,” Mr Brownlee says.
“It is a special moment to see the construction underway after all of the planning and work with the various parties to reach a chosen design, including families of those who died, those injured in the February quake, and first responders.
“The first part of the Memorial to be built is a reflective space on the north bank of the Avon River, between Montreal Street and Rhododendron Island, where people can look across the river to the Memorial Wall, which will be built into the south bank.
“I think it will be a fittingly simple and peaceful place for people to go and remember what we lost and what this city has been through,” Mr Brownlee says.
The chosen Memorial design is by Slovenian architect Grega Vezjak, who has worked with New Zealand based design firms, the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority, the Christchurch City Council and Ngai Tahu on the design detail.
Following a rigorous selection process, Fletcher Construction has been selected to lead the first phase of construction on the north bank of the Memorial.
It is expected the work on the north bank will be complete by February 22 next year, and the entire Memorial will be finished in time for an official dedication on 22 February 2017.
Funding of up to $10 million from the Government, and $1 million from the Christchurch Earthquake Mayoral Relief Fund, will be used for the development of the Memorial.