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Prime Minister's message

As some organisers of Anzac Day events have indicated that they would like to read out a message from the Prime Minister or the Governor-General, here is the Anzac Day 2019 message from the Prime Minister.

This content of message is embargoed until 25 April 2019. It should not be republished or broadcast before that date.

The Governor-General's message is here.

The Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister of New Zealand

Anzac Day Message 2019


Each Anzac Day we take time to reflect and remember. We reflect on the ways in which New Zealand’s involvement in conflict and peacekeeping has affected our country. We remember the sacrifices made by our people during these times.

2019 marks the close of New Zealand’s First World War Centenary Programme (WW100). The focus on the First World War these past five years has served an important purpose. Through the exploration of our nation’s involvement in this global event we have had occasion to reconnect with the stories and lived experiences of our forebears. We have had cause to consider New Zealand’s wider experience in conflict and have taken the opportunity to acknowledge its ongoing impact on all those who have served, as well as their families.

It is timely for us today to consider the journey taken by New Zealanders returning home in 1919. For many, the return to Aotearoa’s shores was painfully slow and far from straightforward. Although 24,000 were home by the armistice of November 1918, there remained 56,000 overseas or at sea. The logistics of bringing them home was something New Zealand had not previously had cause to deal with – and few arrangements went entirely smoothly. The wait was anxious for all, especially families and communities down the line.

The lives of those who found their way back home a hundred years ago were forever changed. Many kept their inner anguish and turmoil from loved ones and few escaped the enduring physical and emotional aftermath of war.

Today our thoughts turn to all veterans, their spouses and families. We particularly pay tribute to those who served in the Second World War, a generation which sadly has almost left us. As we acknowledge their service and honour their contribution to our country, we think too of our current service personnel and their wider support community.

Recently, our nation has again shifted on its axis through the terrorist attacks in Christchurch. As we gather together this Anzac Day we recognise that there is still much division to overcome in the world today. Through our expressions of love, compassion and unity, we reaffirm our commitment to peace and freedom of faith and we move forward together in hope.


The Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister of New Zealand


Updated on 2nd April 2019