Media release: 11 November 2021
New Zealand’s National Armistice Day Commemoration was observed today at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park, Bernadette Cavanagh Tumu Whakarae Chief Executive Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage said.
"After four years of conflict, the Armistice between Germany and the Allies ending the First World War was signed in the early hours of 11 November 1918 and at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, the guns fell silent," says Bernadette Cavanagh.
"Bells were rung and parades were held throughout Aotearoa New Zealand to signal the end of the war to end all wars.
"Sadly, the Armistice occurred as the country experienced the peak of the 1918 global influenza pandemic (Black November). Between October and December some 9,000 people died during the pandemic in New Zealand.
"Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s ceremony was not open to the public, so that appropriate health and safety measures could be observed. The commemoration took the form of an Act of Remembrance (wreath laying ceremony) held at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior.
Governor-General Dame Cindy Kiro and Dr Richard Davies laying a wreath at the Armistice Day 2021 ceremony, photo by Mark Tantrum.
"Governor-General of New Zealand Her Excellency The Right Honourable Dame Cindy Kiro gave the address. Hon Meka Whaitiri Minister for Veterans attended on behalf of the Government and Dr Shane Reti represented the Opposition. His Excellency Leasi Papali’I Tommy Scanlan represented the Diplomatic Corps. Representatives of Taranaki Whānui, Air Marshal Kevin Short Chief of Defence Force, BJ Clark President of the Royal New Zealand Returned and Services Association and Major Fiona Cassidy (Retired) from the National War Memorial Advisory Council also attended.
"Armistice Day is an opportunity to acknowledge the trauma and loss caused by the First World War and all wars and peacekeeping operations in which New Zealanders have been involved," Bernadette Cavanagh said.
Details about the end of the First World War and Armistice Day in New Zealand are available online at:
NZ History, New Zealand History Online, First World War, Armistice Day
Te Ara the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, First World War, Western Front 1918
Dame Cindy Kiro's address is available online at: https://gg.govt.nz/publications/armistice-day
Updated on 11th November 2021