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Commemorative Service marking end of WWII in the Pacific

Media release: 13 August 2015

A commemorative service will be held at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park at 11.00am this Saturday 15 August to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII in the Pacific.

“Saturday’s commemoration will acknowledge the thousands of New Zealand servicemen and women who served across the Pacific and in all theatres of the Second World War,” Ministry for Culture and Heritage, Chief Executive Paul James said.

“The war in the Pacific saw the threat of an enemy close to home and the palpable reality of conflict on the nation’s doorstep.

“This commemoration is an opportunity to reflect on the sacrifices people made during these war years,” Paul James said.

Mir Jim France representing the veterans of the Pacific campaign with Minister Peter Dunne.

In the Pacific, New Zealand’s contribution was the experience of jungle warfare on the ground, as part of the Allied fleet at sea and as the centre of operations in the air.

Saturday’s service will be attended by veterans from throughout New Zealand and includes an historical reading being given by veteran Herbert Thorpe. The Last Post concludes the commemoration.

World War veterans alongside the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior.

An artwork commissioned by the New Zealand Defence Force to mark the 70th anniversary will be on display in the Hall of Memories. The lithograph, by Christchurch artist Marian Maguire, represents young servicemen of the era and a veteran of the campaign.

New Zealand Defence Force artwork on display during the weekend.

Members of the public are invited into the Hall of Memories to inspect the artwork and the wreaths after the formal ceremony is over, at about noon.

More information about New Zealand’s contribution to the war in the Pacific is available at:

View photos from the ceremony on the Ministry's flickr page.

Updated on 31st August 2015