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PM backs call for Erebus memorial

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 27/11/2016
Wreckage from the Air New Zealand DC-10 that crashed on Mt Erebus killing 257 people. © AP Photo/The New Zealand Herald/PE Wreckage from the Air New Zealand DC-10 that crashed on Mt Erebus killing 257 people.

A campaign to have a national memorial for the 257 people who died in the 1979 Mt Erebus disaster has support from Prime Minister John Key.

"I think it is an idea with some merit," Mr Key told Newshub on the 37th anniversary of the tragedy.

The group backing the national memorial wants something in place in time for the 40th anniversary in 2019 saying the nation continues to be affected by the tragedy and was an oversight that nothing has yet been done.

A cross and koru-shaped capsule are at Antarctica near the crash site, but there is no national memorial in New Zealand.

A memorial above the gravesite for 44 victims whose remains had not been identified or whose bodies had not been recovered from the crash site is at Waikumete Cemetery in Auckland and there is a memorial garden at Auckland airport for the air crew killed in the crash.

Mr Key, who has visited the crash site on Antarctica, said government officials were looking into the call for a proper memorial.

Air New Zealand flight TE901, a DC-10, crashed into the Antarctic volcano on November 28, 1979, killing all on board.

Prime Minister John Key © Getty Prime Minister John Key
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