Video: The moment Boris Johnson unveils new memorial at Wellington's Pukeahu War Memorial

In a speech of sombre tribute, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has unveiled a new World War I memorial in Wellington today at the Pukeahu National War Memorial Park.

A military band played on as the UK Foreign Minister did the honours. Source: 1 NEWS

Mr Johnson has reaffirmed his wish to see easier access for young Kiwis wanting to work in the UK. Source: 1 NEWS

Mr Johnson described the memorial as a "gift from the people Britain to the people of New Zealand" recognising the 18,500 New Zealand Maori and Pakeha troops who did not return from Europe and the Middle East following the Great War.

Mr Johnson was all smiles interacting with the public in Wellington today. Source: 1 NEWS

"I hope that it may inspire generations to come because our friendship forged in adversity is as important today as it has ever been," Mr Johnson said.

The Last Post played out after Mr Johnson and Gerry Brownlee laid wreaths together. Source: 1 NEWS

"We acknowledge that our freedom and prosperity today was made possible by the sacrifice of those who fought over a century ago, so we should resolve to stand together to protect the values we share."

Mr Johnson is attending the opening of the UK memorial in the capital today. Source: 1 NEWS

The nearly five metre tall memorial captures an oak tree intertwining with a pohutukawa tree against the silhouette of a World War I solider.

The culmination of over four years of work, the memorial was a collaboration between the Wimbledon School of Arts and Massey University.

Weta Workshop built the memorial, and Sir Richard Taylor was at today's ceremony, along with Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy and Foreign Minister Gerry Brownlee.