TODAY |

Memorial service marks 40 years since NZ's worst aviation disaster

A memorial service was held tonight at Parnell’s Holy Trinity Church to mark the 40th anniversary of New Zealand’s worst ever aviation disaster.

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The event, held at Parnell’s Holy Trinity Church, marks 40 years since New Zealand’s worst ever aviation disaster. Source: 1 NEWS

There were 257 people who died when an Air New Zealand plane crashed into Mount Erebus in 1979.

Family members, the public and politicians have gathered together tonight to remember the disaster.

What’s made this anniversary even harder for the families is an ongoing argument over the proposed national memorial.

“We’re not opposed to a memorial to commemorate and think about Erebus and the people who died in that tragedy, we’re opposed to the loss of a beautiful piece of green space that is on the edge or urban Auckland," Julie Hill, from the Parnell Heritage Trust, said.

Called Te Paerangi Ataata, or sky song is set to be built in Auckland Parnell Rose Gardens, but that has upset some locals.

“As I researched it more and looked more closely at the design I realised how huge it was - it towers eight metres into the air," art and culture adviser Paul Baragwanath said.

The actual anniversary is Thursday November 28. 

A remembrance service is being held at Government House in Auckland.

The prime minister will be attending the service.