This content of message is embargoed until 25 April 2011. It should not be republished or broadcast before that date. Other resources, including a message from the Prime Minister, can be downloaded from the Ministry of Culture and Heritage website
Greetings in the languages of the Realm of New Zealand, in English, Māori, Cook Island Māori, Niuean and Tokelauan: Greetings, Kia Ora, Kia Orana, Fakalofa Lahi Atu, Taloha Ni.
25 April 1915 saw the first significant engagement of New Zealand troops in the First World War as the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, the ANZACs as they are better known, landed at Gallipoli. By the end of the day more than 600 New Zealanders had been killed or wounded—more than in the three years of the South African (Boer) War. The First World War went on to claim 18,000 New Zealand lives. Along with nearly 50,000 wounded, this was an enormous price for a country of one million people.
Every town and city has a memorial in honour of those who went to war and those that never came home. As very few of the soldiers who died overseas were returned to New Zealand, the memorials were an important place for their families and friends to lay wreaths and contemplate their loss.
Successive generations have continued to gather on Anzac Day and commemorate those who died fighting for their country. Today communities will hold ceremonies and services at memorials, halls, churches and cemeteries throughout New Zealand.
We honour those who fought at Gallipoli and we remember the sacrifices made by all New Zealanders who have served in times of conflict and war. In May 2011 we will also mark the 70th anniversary of the Battle for Crete in the Second World War. In Crete, as at Gallipoli, New Zealand and Australian soldiers fought alongside each other in the Mediterranean.
With the passing years it is important to recognise the veterans still among us. Through them we have a direct link back in time to events that have shaped our identity as a nation.
As we pay tribute to the efforts of past generations in previous wars, our thoughts are with members of our current armed services. On this Anzac Day, New Zealand servicemen and women are serving in a number of locations overseas. These men and women are working to bring other nations the peace and freedom that we enjoy here in New Zealand.
No reira, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, kia ora, kia kaha, tēnā koutou katoa.
Rt Hon Sir Anand Satyanand GNZM, QSO
Governor-General of New Zealand