Skip to main content

Governor-General'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 2018 message from the Governor-General.

This content of message is embargoed until 25 April 2018. It should not be republished or broadcast before that date.

The Prime Minister's message is here.

The Rt Hon Dame Patsy Reddy, GNZM, QSO

Governor-General of New Zealand

                   Anzac Day Message 2018     

Today marks the centenary of the last Anzac Day commemorated during the First World War.

Anzac Day 1918 was three years after the Gallipoli landings, and New Zealand was a war-weary nation. The enthusiasm that had followed the call to arms had long since given way to disillusionment, the anguish of loss, and the daily grind of supporting the war effort.

1918 was another year of heavy casualties for New Zealand, particularly on the Western Front, where nearly 5,000 New Zealanders lost their lives. Operating in the most trying of circumstances, our service personnel continued to live up to their fine reputation, and six Victoria Crosses were won during that final year of battle.

In April 1918, it seemed like there was no end in sight: in retrospect, we know that peace was almost on the horizon. In November, following the agreement of an armistice, the guns finally fell silent.

This November, our commemorations will focus on the journey home and the beginning of healing, at a time when the War’s terrible after-effects on individuals and families were not well understood.

It will be a time also to reflect on our how our forebears’ aspirations for peace have endured and are stronger than ever, in today’s very different world.

For the New Zealanders who returned from the battlefields of Europe and the Middle East, peace was not without its challenges.  They were irrevocably changed by experiences that set them apart from friends and family on their return. They were often reluctant to speak about the War. A hundred years later, during the centennial commemorations, we have been seeking out their stories.  

In doing so, we have honoured them and the sacrifices they made, and we now have a deeper understanding of the wartime events that helped shape the history of our nation and the lives of generations of New Zealanders.

The Rt Hon Dame Patsy Reddy, GNZM, QSO

Governor-General of New Zealand

Updated on 10th April 2018