Waiheke Island is the first stop for two survivors of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima who are visiting New Zealand to give peace talks against nuclear energy.
Michimasa Hirata and Ms Shigeko Niimoto Sasamori will visit St Peter's Church in Oneroa at 10am on August 1 to talk about peace.
Mr Hirata was born in December 1935 in Hiroshima and remembers the day the first atomic bomb used against people was dropped on his city. It was August 6, 1945 - his birthday.
"On that day, at the age of nine, I was A-bombed in the living room of my house located about 1.2 miles away from the epicentre in Hiroshima.
"All of sudden a brilliant flash hit on my head, which changed the city of Hiroshima thoroughly."
He says the city was left beyond description and just like "a hell on the earth".
During the early period after the bombing, most hibakusha (A-bomb victims) kept quiet about their experiences for fear of discrimination.
However, after seeing a friend on TV among the participants of the march for nuclear abolition in Washington DC, it spurred him into joining the hibakusha movement. In the 25 years since he has been working to send the message of nuclear abolition to the world.
Ms Sasamori was born in June 1932, also in Hiroshima, and now lives in California.
She lived less than a mile from the site of the atomic bomb explosion, in an area in which nearly 100 per cent of the population received fatal injuries.
Ms Sasamori sustained severe injuries to her face, chest, arms, hands and neck and had third degree burns to more than 25 per cent of her body.
She now travels all over the world, sharing her experiences and her message in support of nuclear disarmament. She has spoken to students, royalty, heads of state, and the United Nations.
The pair is in New Zealand following an invitation by Waiheke artist Bronwen Muir. She and Mr Hirata started communicating after the Japanese tsunami last year.
The trip is being sponsored by the Waiheke Combined Churches.
The visit coincides with 25th anniversary of New Zealand becoming nuclear free and the pair will mark the 67th anniversaries of the bombings of Hiroshima on August 6 and Nagasaki on August 9, giving talks in Wellington and Christchurch.
Documentaries about the Hiroshima bombing will be shown at the Waiheke Community Cinema on July 31 at 7.30pm.
An exhibition of photographs of Hiroshima and Nagasaki will open at 5pm on August 5 at The Depot, Kerr St, Devonport. It will be open until August 31 from 10am to 4pm, Mondays to Saturdays.
- Waiheke Marketplace