WWI battlefield plans unveiled

Last updated 06:54 25/06/2014
WWI battlefield plans
SIMON BRIGHT
IN MINATURE: A model replica of a WWI battlefield being built in Waiouru which will be the size of three football fields when complete in 2016.

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Plans to build a life-size, open-air WWI battlefield in the central North Island have been unveiled, alongside film-maker Sir Peter Jackson's involvement.

The plans were revealed in a model last night in Wellington.

They show what would become a replica Western Front battle field outside the National Army Museum in Waiouru, director Jeanette Richardson said.

''Once it is built the visitor will cross a bridge and in so doing will leave this century behind and step into an especially combative part of the last one.

''He or she will be in a world of bombed out French buildings, trenches, field kitchens, first aid posts, bogged down tanks, crashed planes and the general mayhem and detritus of war. A word of caution though - it is a working battlefield so do watch out for the shrapnel and do be prepared to take cover.''

The battlefield project would give people a sense of the reality of the war and what New Zealand soldiers went through during it.

Jackson and his team was helping with design, ''planning prowess and moral support'', Richardson said.

Jackson, who has a well-documented interest with war, said: ''No other museum in [the] world can do this. No one's got a backyard like we have, it's going to be fun. We'll make it good.''

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- The Dominion Post

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