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Commemorations & anniversaries

In 2014, the Government updated its earlier commemorations policy, agreed in 2009/10 in recognition of the need for a co-ordinated approach between agencies to mark particularly important events and anniversaries, and to ensure better forward planning for these big events.

The updated commemorations policy categorises these anniversaries as either Tier 1 or Tier 2 national events. The Tier 1 list consists of anniversaries of events which had a significant impact on the nation as a whole or on the pattern of New Zealand life; an example being the 100th anniversary of the First World War.

The Tier 2 list is made up of anniversaries of events which were highly important but not of the same nation-changing magnitude. Nationally-significant anniversaries, whether Tier 1 or Tier 2, typically refer to anniversaries that are a multiple of 25 (25th, 50th, 75th, 100th anniversaries, and so on). 

Visit the Commemorations 2014-2020 page to view the full listing of events.


The following events for 2018 were authorised by the Government in 2014. Please note that this is an indicative list and may be subject to review.

2018 Tier 1 events

125th anniversary of women's suffrage (1893)

 On 19 September 1893 the Electoral Act 1893 was passed, giving all women in New Zealand the right to vote.  As a result of this landmark legislation, New Zealand became the first self-governing country in the world in which all women had the right to vote in parliamentary elections. Learn more about this commemoration being led by the Ministry for Women here.

100th anniversary of the battle at Le Quesnoy  - National Commemoration to be held in France (1918)

100th anniversary of Armistice - National Commemoration to be held at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park (1918)

Tier 2 events

175th anniversary of the Wairau incident

150th anniversary of the start of the fighting between Crown forces and the forces of Titokowaru and Te Kooti

150th anniversary of New Zealand becoming the first country to introduce nationwide standard time

100th anniversary of the influenza pandemic

50th anniversary of the sinking of the Wahine. The Wahine 50 Trust organised a number of events for the commemoration on 10 April 2018 - more details are here.

Centenary of the First World War commemorations

Dates for key New Zealand domestic and overseas commemorative and ceremonial events which will be marked during the First World War centenary from 2014 to 2019 were announced by former Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Christopher Finlayson in September 2013.  Relevant media releases include the following:

First World War centenary military commemoration dates announced

WW100 First World War Centenary Programme announced

Additional commemorations

Details about various New Zealand historic events and anniversaries can be found on our NZHistory and Te Ara —The Encyclopedia of New Zealand websites.


Te Ara – The Encyclopedia of New Zealand

Raa Maumahara National Day of Commemoration will be held on October 28th each year. The first inaugural event took place in 2017. Visit Te Puni Kōkiri's website for more details about Te Pūtake o te Riri | Wars and Conflicts in New Zealand Fund.

Te Pūtake o te Riri | Wars and Conflicts in New Zealand Fund

Updated on 12th April 2018