Media release: 20 June 2023
The National Commemoration for New Zealand’s Involvement in the Korean War will be held at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park on Sunday 25 June 2023.
“We invite those who wish to reflect on the courageous service of New Zealanders in the Korean War and the enduring impact of this conflict to join the ceremony on Sunday,” said Glenis Philip-Barbara, Pou Mataaho o Te Hua, Deputy Chief Executive, Delivery.
“Members of the public are invited to attend the commemoration, alongside Korean War veterans and their families. The commemoration will also be livestreamed for those who cannot attend in person.”
The commemoration will be held on the anniversary of the beginning of the Korean War, which began on 25 June 1950, when communist North Korean forces crossed the 38th Parallel into South Korea. New Zealand was one of the first countries to answer the United Nations Security Council’s call for combat assistance.
The New Zealand Army set up a specialist contingent, Kayforce, which saw 4,700 New Zealanders serve in Korea. A further 1,300 served on six Royal New Zealand Navy frigates which were active around the Korean peninsula. New Zealanders in service in Korea included gunners, signallers, drivers, infantry and engineers.
The armistice was agreed on 27 July 1953, and the last members of Kayforce were withdrawn from Korea on 27 July 1957. Between 1950 and 1957, 45 New Zealanders died in service in Korea.
“The commemoration this year is particularly poignant as it is 70 years since the armistice, inviting us to reflect on the sacrifices that led to that agreement,” said Glenis Philip-Barbara.
Anyone who would like to attend the commemoration should arrive at the Hall of Memories at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park, Buckle Street, on Sunday 25 June at 10:45am for an 11:00am start.
More information about the Korean war is featured on the NZ History website: http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/war/korean-war
For updates and to view a livestream of the ceremony visit https://www.facebook.com/pukeahu
Updated on 26th June 2023