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Governor-General's message 2023

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

Her Excellency The Right Honourable Dame Cindy Kiro, GNZM, QSO

Governor-General of New Zealand

Anzac Day Message 2023

Since the first overseas deployment of New Zealand troops in the South African War over a century ago, Aotearoa New Zealand has played its part in many international conflicts. On Anzac Day, we honour all New Zealanders who have served our nation.

This day belongs to our veterans, and to those we have lost in distant lands. It reminds us that New Zealand’s involvement in war has come at great cost, and that for many who have come back home, war has marked an end to life as they knew it.

As we acknowledge the destructive nature of war, let us also reflect on the role service personnel have played in the life that we cherish, and the place Aotearoa holds in the world. In conflict, New Zealand has earned a reputation for courage and honour, a reputation built on the actions of individuals in the heat of the moment, in difficult and trying circumstances. 

Much has been made of ‘the Anzac spirit’, a concept originating from Gallipoli, reflecting untold deeds of compassion, camaraderie, ingenuity, and self-sacrifice.  Anzac Day is a time to acknowledge such deeds, those known and those unknown, in times of war. 

The challenges of recent years have been a sober reminder that our lives and prosperity are dependent on many factors beyond our control, as we remain vulnerable to world events and natural disasters.

In the wake of the devastation wreaked by recent weather events, I want to give special acknowledgement to the role undertaken by members of the New Zealand Defence Force in taking care of New Zealanders in emergency situations, working alongside local agencies to provide help where it is needed most.

I want to acknowledge, too, all those private citizens who, in the hardest of times, have pitched in to help others, sharing food, labour, equipment or simply aroha. In all of these acts of caring and generosity, the Anzac spirit lives on.

On Anzac Day, this year as always, I feel proud to be a citizen of Aotearoa.

Updated on 11th May 2023