Skip to main content

Prime Minister's message 2023

The content of this message is embargoed until 25 April 2023. It should not be republished or broadcast before that date.

The Right Honourable Chris Hipkins

Prime Minister of New Zealand

Anzac Day Message 2023


On this and every Anzac Day we take time to remember the contribution of all New Zealanders who have served our country. 

As we reflect on the camaraderie and immense courage of the original Anzacs, we remember too the actions of those from Aotearoa New Zealand and the Pacific who have served in subsequent wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations around the globe.

As we pay our respects to those who lost their lives during wartime, we also consider the ongoing impact conflict has had on our veterans and their whānau. Too often the sacrifices made by our veterans are unknown, their voices unheard, their stories untold. Today, we lift up those who returned to these shores carrying burdens seen and unseen.  

On Anzac Day we recognise the mana that comes with serving this country, and the pride our service personnel take in following the footsteps of those who have gone before. We think too of the strong bonds we have formed through our involvement in international conflicts – including of course with Australia and reaching across the globe.  

The ultimate cost of any war will always be its human toll – families displaced, lives lost, cultures repressed, childhoods cut short. It is appropriate that our thoughts also rest today with members of our refugee communities who have experienced conflict first hand, and with all those who in 2023 are still living in the shadow of war.

We acknowledge those members of our Defence Force who are helping in international efforts, including those deployed to Europe to train Ukrainian soldiers so they can defend their country from an unjust and illegal invasion. A reminder that peace is not something we can nor should take for granted. 

At home, with the effects of Cyclone Gabrielle pushing us to our limits, the same qualities which defined the Anzacs of 1915 have come to the fore in the actions of New Zealanders across Aotearoa. From members of the New Zealand Defence Force and emergency response personnel deployed to affected regions to individuals supporting fellow Kiwis with aroha and manaakitanga – all have put the needs of others above their own. 

As well as honouring the past, Anzac Day provides us with an opportunity to reflect on our hopes for the future – for a world in which all people can share in a sense of peace, security and wellbeing.

Let us hold these values front of mind as we pay tribute this Anzac Day. 

Updated on 19th April 2023