Only one day to go until the exhibition Slice of Heaven: 20th century Aotearoa opens. Just the last tweaks to do now and blessing of the exhibition space on Friday morning.
But even before the public gets in to see it, the exhibition is stopping people in their tracks.
An imposing, sombre, dark slice protrudes outwards from the exhibition, across the floor on level 4. It’s hard not to stop and take notice – and not to feel moved.
This is an eloquent memorial to New Zealanders who lost their lives during World War One. Red poppies and crosses – symbols of remembrance – complement the words from a song composed by Apirana Ngata in 1919 for the return of the Māori Pioneer Battalion from World War One:
Ngā toki heke!
Maringi kino e toha mai rā
i te whenua pāmamao
Blood was shed!
Spilt and scattered
in a distant land
This is just one of the exhibition features in Slice of Heaven which we hope visitors will take a moment to reflect on – and share their memories of 20th century New Zealand.