9 Dec 2013

New Zealanders mark life of Mandela

2:33 pm on 9 December 2013

Nelson Mandela's life is being remembered in New Zealand this week with books of remembrance and church services.

Aimee Chandler, 7, signs the remembrance book at Te Papa.

Aimee Chandler, 7, signs the remembrance book at Te Papa. Photo: RNZ

Remembrance books are available for people to sign at the South African High Commission in Wellington, the  Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa and at Parliament.

South African High Commissioner to New Zealand Zodwa Lallie told Radio New Zealand's Morning Report programme the High Commission hopes to help New Zealanders mark the life of Mr Mandela.

"Here in New Zealand it's been about putting into action the plans we have to celebrate his life, to celebrate the connections between South Africa and New Zealand. It is about the people-to-people connections."

Mr Mandela's life will also be celebrated at a memorial service on at 12.30pm on Friday at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Auckland.

One of the organisers Irvin Adams says there has been a outpouring of emotion from the South African expatriate community in New Zealand.

"I think there was huge concern that we needed to get together and celebrate his life in a cohesive and disciplined manner.

"And the Auckland council has come forward and assisted us with this, so there'll be a huge commemoration service at the cathedral of Friday."

Mr Adams says there will be a number of speakers at the service from the South African community including sport personalities, singer Megan Alatini and former Race Relations Commissioner Gregory Fortuin.