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Prime Minister'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. Here is the Anzac Day 2021 message from the Prime Minister. The Governor-General's message is here.

This content of message is embargoed until 25 April 2021. It should not be republished or broadcast before that date.


The Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister of New Zealand

Anzac Day Message 2021


On Anzac Day, as a nation we turn our thoughts to all those who have served our country in war, conflict and peacekeeping.

At this time last year, New Zealand was in lockdown, yet I was so moved to see the spirit of Anzac Day still shining through, with New Zealanders standing in front of their own homes, listening to the Dawn Service. It was testament that Anzac Day is about the best in us – unity, endurance, and compassion.

A very sad consequence of the pandemic was that veterans of the Second World War missed out on their national commemoration on 15 August to mark the 75th anniversary of the end of war in the Pacific. We are privileged to have veterans from that war and subsequent conflicts still among us, and these men and women will be honoured at services across Aotearoa today. Also delayed was the dedication of the Pacific Memorial in Pukeahu National War Memorial Park, and I was pleased and moved to finally attend the dedication last month, in remembrance of the Pacific peoples who have served and sacrificed so much for our country.

2021 marks two special anniversaries. It is 70 years since the Battle of Kapyong in the lead-up to Anzac Day 1951, and I take this chance to acknowledge all the New Zealanders who served in the Korean War. I also want to give special acknowledgement to New Zealanders’ role in peacekeeping. In 1951, New Zealand made its first contribution to a multi-national peacekeeping operation, as part of a United Nations effort to resolve conflict over Kashmir. In 2021, we mark 70 years of our nation’s contribution to peacekeeping efforts around the world. We can all be proud of our service personnel – who continue to stand up for international goals of peace and stability, often at considerable personal cost.

I hope many of us will take a moment to reflect on the meaning of Anzac Day, and to acknowledge the tragedy of each and every life lost as a result of service overseas. And let us not forget the impact on loved ones, parents, children, siblings, partners, and friends, because New Zealand’s military history is their story too.

Let us share with all who have served our country, and all who continue to serve, our recognition and respect, as we gather together to remember on this most special day.


Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister of New Zealand

Updated on 12th April 2021