The incident occurred on November 28, 1979. The TE901 Air New Zealand Flight crashed into the lower slopes of Mountain Erebus located in Ross Island of Antarctica.
The structure will consist of a stainless-steel walkway and will be erected in the Auckland's Dove-Myer Robinson Park that belongs in the suburb of Parnell.
“I’m pleased to announce the design Te Paerangi Ataata - Sky Song, by Wellington firm Studio Pacific Architecture jointly with designer and artist Jason O’Hara and musician Warren Maxwell, has been selected. The design reflects the enormity of the tragedy and provides a strong sense of connection and loss. The design has a strong narrative to engage visitors and provides a sanctuary within its walls, evoking the great emptiness experienced for those who lost their lives,” Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, stated. “As the memorial is created, some 257 stainless steel snowflakes will be cut out and given to the families, connecting them to the site and providing a symbolic keepsake that can be passed on to others,” Ardern added.
Architects and engineers consulted the family members of the victims to decide about the design of the memorial.
The idea was initially approved by the Ministry for Culture and Heritage in 2016. Back then, the project was expected to be completed in 2019 for the 40th anniversary of the plane crash but, according to recent updates, it will be completed in May 2020.
The mayor of Auckland, Phil Goff, welcomed the attempt adding that it should have been constructed years ago. “With Flight 901 having left from Auckland and many of those on-board residents from our city, it is appropriate for the memorial to be built here. It has been important to work with the families of the Erebus victims and wherever possible take on board their wishes. The memorial in Dove-Myer Robinson Park, overlooking the Waitemata, is in a beautiful setting, which I hope will provide comfort and solace to those who lost family and friends on Erebus,” he stated.
The causes of the accident are not fully clarified to date and there are still controversial opinions that derive from different sources.