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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 2019 were authorised by the Government in 2014. Please note that this is an indicative list and may be subject to review.

2019 Tier 1 events

250th anniversary of the first meetings of Māori and Europeans between James Cook and Tahitian chief and navigator Tupaia. Visit our Tuia - Encounters 250 website for more details.

100th anniversary of the Treaty of Versailles and peace celebrations (1919)

NZHistory - The legacy of war

WW100 - New Zealand at the 1919 Paris Peace Conference

MCH media release - Youth debate to mark centenary of the Treaty of Versailles

2019 Tier 2 events

200th anniversary of the first planting of fruit frees and wine grapes

NZHistory - New Zealand's first grapevines planted?

Te Ara - History of viticulture in New Zealand

NZ Wine - Celebrating 200 years of New Zealand wine and beyond

150th anniversary of the founding of New Zealand's first university - University of Otago

University of Otago - 150th anniversary celebrations events

MCH news item - Otago University – New Zealand’s first founded 150 years ago

100th anniversary of New Zealand joining the International Labour Organisaton

Mentioned in MCH media release - Youth debate to mark centenary of the Treaty of Versailles

75th anniversary of the abolition of the poll tax on Chinese migrants

NZHistory - Poll tax on Chinese immigrants abolished

Te Ara - Poll tax certificate

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 7th October 2019