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Governor-General's message

Many organisers of Anzac Day events like to read out a message from the Prime Minister or the Governor-General as part of their service. While that won't be possible this year, you may like to share these messages with your commuity via a digital channel. Here is the Anzac Day 2020 message from the Governor-General. The Prime Minister's message is here.

This content of message is embargoed until 25 April 2020. It should not be republished or broadcast before that date.


The Rt Hon Dame Patsy Reddy, GNZM, QSO

Governor-General of New Zealand

     Anzac Day Message 2020     


E hoki ana aku mahara ki ō tātou tāngata,

rātou i tū ki te pae o te riri kia ora ai te pae o te maungarongo. 

E whitu tekau mā rima tau te kaumatua o tēnei rau aroha. 

Kei wareware i a tātou. Tēnā tātou.[1]

Today we commemorate the first Anzac Day of a new decade.

Some may question why we continue to mark a distant war which concluded more than a century ago. The answer lies not in our wish to eulogise a single conflict or to glorify a particular action.  Rather, Anzac Day remains relevant because it provides the space to reflect on Aotearoa New Zealand’s enduring hopes for unity and the sacrifices we have made, and continue to make, towards peace.  It reminds us that New Zealanders, and our nation as a whole, possess the innate fortitude necessary to overcome the severe challenges that COVID-19 presents to our people and our world.

75 years ago this year, the Second World War - the conflict which shaped our modern society - ended.  It is appropriate that on Anzac Day 2020 we hold front of mind those New Zealanders who took part in, and were affected by, this most terrible war.  Around 140,000 New Zealand men and women served overseas on land, on the sea and in the air.  At home we faced disruption, rationing and anxiety about loved ones for more than five years.  Many of us today feel similar anxiety about those close to them and all of us have been affected by the necessary restrictions and disruptions to public life and social contact.

It is a sad reality that with every passing year fewer veterans remain to share this day of remembrance with.  However, what does not diminish is the enduring impact of their service and sacrifice on their families and our nation.  That is what we remember today.

In 1945, New Zealand played a valuable role in the establishment of the United Nations, strongly supporting the principle of collective security.  The declaration we made then, to stand together in the face of aggression while also working together to find solutions to the social, economic and cultural problems of the world, continues to guide us as a nation today.

However we choose to engage with Anzac Day, let us ensure that as we remember our individual and collective experiences of war, we also reflect on our enduring commitment to remain steadfast in the face of adversity and to uphold the values of humanity and compassion. It is in doing so that we will best honour the legacy of all those who have served our nation and continue to be united as a community.


The Rt Hon Dame Patsy Reddy, GNZM, QSO

Governor-General of New Zealand

[1] Translation: My thoughts return back to our loved ones, who stood on the battlefronts to ensure the endurance of peace on our home fronts. 75 years, the age of this (metaphorical) wreath of love and remembrance. Lest we forget. Greetings everyone.


Updated on 17th April 2020