Wellington as a Peace Capital


Wellington City Mayor Celia Wade-Brown announced Council support for the Peace Heritage Walk at the Mahatma Gandhi birthday commemoration held at the Gandhi statue at Wellington’s railway station on 2 October 2012. The event was hosted by the Council and the Wellington Indian Association.

“The Peace Heritage Walk is an asset to the city and includes monuments and sculptures dedicated to peace, including the Hiroshima Peace Flame.

“I’m delighted to announce the Council’s support for the Peace Walk.

Mayor Wade-Brown commended the work of the Buddhist peace group Soka Gakkai International of New Zealand, as a Wellington community group, for assuming the stewardship of the Peace Heritage Walk.

“There is a lot of potential to refresh awareness of the walk as another wonderful attraction for Wellington and to reinforce our support for peace,” she says.

The Peace Heritage Walk is a public walk connecting monuments and sculptures dedicated to peace in Wellington’s inner city. Formerly managed by the Peace Foundation of Wellington, SGINZ assumed management of the Peace Walk in July 2012.



Wellington City and its citizens have been active in promoting peace, tolerance and understanding in the local community and in the world.

Wellington became a Nuclear-Weapon Free Zone in on April 14th, 1982by decision of the Wellington City Council.

A sign announcing Wellington as a nuclear-weapon free ingzone was erected near the airport. In 2004 this was upgraded to a sign welcoming visitors to Wellington – the capital of Nuclear Free New Zealand

In 1993 Wellington was declared a Peace Capital by Mayor Fran Wilde. Incoming Mayor Mark Blumsky re-dedicated Wellington as a Peace Capital in 1995 and a plaque commemorating this was installed in Cuba Mall.

Mayor Kerry Prendergast is a member of Mayors for Peace. Wellington hosted the first New Zealand Mayors for Peace meeting in 2006.  (Please also see "A Message from Mayor Kerry Prendergast to the Secretary General of the Japan Council Against A & H Bombs").

Wellington was designated a World Health Organisation Safe City in 2006 in recognition of the city’s efforts to prevent violence and increase people’s feelings of personal safety.

Wellington maintains Sister City links with cities in China and Japan in order to develop positive cultural, sporting, economic and political relationships. In 2006 Wellington hosted the Sister Cities 25th Anniversary Conference, at which time a Sister City relationship with Beijing was formalised.

Wellington City has also planted a number of trees, and installed a range of sculptures and monuments, commemorating peace and peacemakers.  The Wellington Peace Walk is a trail visiting these sites through thebotanical gardens and inner city can be viewed through a leisurely walk. Other monuments can be visited by bike, car or public transport.

Welcome to Wellington Airport

Sign outside Wellington Airport 
welcoming visitors to the capital of Nuclear Free New Zealand

Letter of Mayor Fran Wilde dedicating Wellington as a Peace Capital

 Letter of Mayor Fran Wilde dedicating Wellington as a Peace Capital


A Message from Mayor Kerry Prendergast to the Secretary General of the Japan Council Against A & H Bombs

Dear Hiroshi Taka

On behalf of the City of Wellington, thank you for your warm greetings on the 25th anniversary of our Nuclear Weapons-Free declaration – they are most appreciated.

Over the past 25 years, the nuclear-free status of both our city and country has consolidated, and in respect of nuclear-free arms and ships there is now agreement by all major political parties.

Wellington City and the people of Wellington remain committed to a peaceful society, not just in terms of relationships between nations, but also relationships between citizens.

So we are very proud to have attained World Health Organisation Safe Community status in June last year – the only capital city of any country to be recognised in this way to date.

Thank you again for your very kind greetings.

With warmest regards

Kerry Prendergast

Wellington Peace Heritage Walk

Wellington City has planted a number of trees, and installed a range of sculptures and monuments, commemorating peace and peacemakers. The Peace Heritage Walk takes a route through the Central Buisness District & WaterfrontBotanical Gardens and The Parliament and Railway Station that can be leisurely walked.Other sites of interest can be visited by bike, car or public transport. 

Download the Wellington Peace Heritage Walk site listing here

Download the Wellington Peace Heritage Map here

Central Business District and Waterfront 

 The section of the walk through Wellington's CBD and Waterfront includes the sites:

Peace Capital Plaque 1. Peace Capital Plaque

Cuba Mall
Installed 1995
Plaque honouring Wellington as a Sri Chinmoy Peace Capital City




Te Aro Park2. Te Aro Park 

Dixon and Manners Streets

Traditional site of protests against war
and in favour of peace. Designed in the shape
of a waka (Maori canoe) representing the fact
that all peoples of Aotearoa-New Zealand have
migrated here from other countries. 



Rabin Memorial3. Rabin Memorial

Harris Street. Installed in 2000

An olive tree and a granite memorial
to Nobel Peace Prize winner Yitzhak Rabin.





War Refugees Plaque4. War Refugees Plaque

Plaque recognising war refugees
and inparticular the polish child
refugees from World War II that
were accepted by New Zealand. 









Nuclear Free Wellington Sign5. Nuclear Free Wellington Sign

Museum of Wellington. The sign
commemorates the Wellington City
Council declaring the city a nuclear
weapons free zone in 1982. 


Peace Walk – Botanical Garden

The section of the walk through Wellington's Botanical Gardens includes the sites:  

6. Hiroshima Peace Tree Hiroshima Peace Tree

Tree planted in 1969 to commemorate
the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and
expressing the hope that nuclear weapons
are never used again. 

Hiroshima Day


Peacemaker7. 'Peacemaker'

Chris Booth, 1991
Comprising basalt boulders given by the
Ngati Kura iwi of Northland. Peacemaker particularly
attempts to communicate the choice of being peaceful
among human beings. This is a companion sculpture to
one in Matauri Bay, Northland, commemorating the final
resting place of the Rainbow Warrior – the peace ship bombed
by the French Secret Service.



Body to Soul


8. Body to Soul

Mary-Louise Browne, 1996
A black granite stair-case with
13 steps engraved with a word
sequence BODY to SOUL.




Peace Garden9. Peace Garden

Includes Hiroshima Peace Flame, ignited
by the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima
and presented by the Japanese people to New Zealand
in honour of this country's prohibition of nuclear weapons.
Also includes the Hiroshima Stone from the former
Hiroshima City Hall and Hone Tuwhares poem,
No Ordinary Sun and more.



Nagasaki Tree


10. Nagasaki Tree

Planted by Mayor Kerry Prendergast in 2005
A camphor tree originating from a tree that survived
the 1945 atomic bombing of Nagasaki.
For more information see:
Nagasaki’ Tree for Wellington’s Peace Garden






11. Kauri Tree

This Kauri Tree was planted to commermorate
a Unitd Nations Asia-Pacific Disarmament conference in Wellington.


Peace Heritage Walk - Parliament and Railway Station

Nagasaki atomic bomb sculpture


12. Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Sculpture

Parliament library gardens
Sculpture commemorating
the Aug 9, 1945 destruction of Nagasaki
by a nuclear bomb.




13. Kate Sheppard Gardens

Camellia garden commemorating suffragettes
who campaigned to gain women the vote.


Sonja Davies memorial



14. Sonja Davies memorial

Parliament grounds, 2006
A kowhai tree and plaque dedicated
to Sonja Davies, parliamentarian, trade
unionist and an advocate for peace and
social justice.








Pou Whenua


15. Pou Whenua

Ra Vincent, 2004
Wai-titi landing marker, a gift from
Te AtiawaTaranaki to Wellington City
as an expression of the treaty relationship
between the peoples of the region.





Ghandi Sculpture


16. Gandhi Sculpture

Gautam Pal, 2007
This statue was gifted to Wellington
by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations,
to honour the efforts of Wellington people for
peace nad non-voilence in the tradition of
Mohandas Gandhi.







Other Peace Monuments and sites 

Antarctica Monument


Antarctica Monument

Mt Victoria Summit.
Dedicated to the world’s first international
nuclear-weapon-free and demilitarized zone.







Parihaka Memorial



Parihaka Memorial

Massey University Grounds, Buckle Street
Memorial to the Maori from Parihaka pacifist
community who were imprisoned in Wellington
and forced into slave labour.







PF Logo



Peace Foundation Wellington Office
James Smith Building, 2nd Floor.
Corner of Cuba and Manners Malls.



Visit the Peace Foundation. Meet our staff. Check out our peace resources. We are part of the Centre for Global Action which also includes Amnesty International, Council for International Development, Dev-Zone, Global Education, Oxfam, UNICEF and the United Nations Association.