NZ War Memorial Museum in Europe Receives NZ Government’s Support

The decision by the New Zealand government to support a NZ War Memorial Museum in Le Quesnoy – France has been warmly welcomed by the project’s trustees.

Cabinet has agreed to grant overseas donee status to the New Zealand Memorial Museum Trust, marking the centenary of the liberation of Le Quesnoy by New Zealand troops. This means donations given to the Trust by businesses and individuals will be eligible for a tax rebate, in line with its charitable status.

New Zealand Memorial Museum Trust chairman, Sir Don McKinnon, says the government’s decision will have a significant positive impact.

“I thank Cabinet for providing this statutory basis in the Annual Income Tax Bill, thereby allowing tax rebatibility to donors.

“We can now move ahead apace and seek the support the Trust needs to establish a permanent memorial to the more than New Zealand 20,000 men and women who fought and died in Europe across the two World Wars.

“I ask every New Zealander to acknowledge our history and show their respect to our fallen men and women and invest in a place of pilgrimage in Europe by supporting the Museum.”

The Memorial Museum Trust, Le Quesnoy purchased the former town mayor’s residence in 2017. When complete, there will be a total of 1000sqm of exhibition space, with separate levels dedicated to WW1 and WW2, the air battle over Europe in WW2, the tunnellers’ work in WW1, and a research centre.

The Trust is seeking $15 million to complete the refurbishment of the 19th Century residence and nine maisonettes for visitor accommodation and office space, build a new annex and landscape the existing site.

The project has already received more than $1.5 million from a number of New Zealand organisations and individuals.

Deputy Prime Minister, Winston Peters said in the government’s statement: “The First World War saw more than 18,000 New Zealand service men and women lose their lives. This museum is a way to raise awareness of New Zealand’s participation, contribution and sacrifice.”

 Revenue Minister Stuart Nash said “the tax credit will help the fundraising of the Museum project, in remembrance of those brave men who fought so long ago.”

The Museum will be located in Le Quesnoy, a small fortified town in northern France that New Zealanders alone freed from German occupation on 4 November 1918 with no loss of civilian lives. 142 Kiwi soldiers were killed.


The citizens of Le Quesnoy remember the liberation of their town by New Zealanders to this day – with streets and parks named after us and even a song about us Le Liberators.

Donee status will be apply for all donation made from 1 April, 2018 onwards.




The Dedication Ceremony for the NZ War Memorial Museum will take place at the former Mayoral residence on 4 November 2018, 3.30pm – 4.30pm; 7-9 rue Archille Carlier, 59530, Le Quesnoy, Nord, France


For interview opportunities please contact: Penny Hartill, Hartill PR, +64 (0)21 721 424,



Editor’s Notes


The New Zealand Memorial Museum Trust is raising funds to repurpose the historic former Mayor’s residence in Le Quesnoy, France, which has been the headquarters for the local Gendarmerie since 1952. The Mayor and Town Council of Le Quesnoy are providing their full support to the project.


The site will be developed to include upgraded accommodation for visitors and a new annex. Together, the historic building and annex will form a museum that will tell the soldiers’ extraordinary stories and exhibit educational and interactive historic collections from both World Wars.


The Trustees are: Rt. Hon. Sir Don McKinnon (chair), Mark Hall, Brett Hewson,  Buddy Mikaere, Greg Moyle (Maj. Rtd),  Rt. Hon. Sir Lockwood Smith and Michele Whitecliffe. Patron: Rt. Hon. Helen Clark. Founder and general secretary: Herb Farrant. Friends Emeritus of Le Quesnoy: Dame Jenny Gibbs, Rt. Hon. Lt. Gen. Sir Jerry Mateparae and Rt. Hon. Sir Anand Satyanand.

Daisy Conroy-Botica