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New Zealand Flag half-masting directive - First anniversary of the March 15 Christchurch mosque attacks

Media release: 13 March 2020

First anniversary of the March 15 Christchurch mosque attacks. Immediate effect and weekend of 14 – 15 March 2020.

At the request of the Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Jacinda Ardern, the New Zealand Flag is to be flown at half-mast on all Government and public buildings with immediate effect and over the weekend of 14 – 15 March 2020, as a mark of mourning and respect to mark the first anniversary of the Christchurch mosque attacks on Sunday 15 March.

This instruction applies to all Government Departments, buildings and naval vessels which have flag poles and normally fly the New Zealand Flag. The Flag should be returned to full mast at the start of business hours on Monday 16 March 2020.

The flag is half-masted by first raising it to the top of the mast and then immediately lowering it slowly to the half-mast position.  The half-mast position will depend on the size of the flag and the length of the flagpole.  The flag must be lowered to a position recognisably “half-mast” to avoid the appearance of a flag which has accidentally fallen away from the top of the flagpole.  As a guide, the flag should be more than its own depth from the top of the flagpole.  At the end of the day, the flag should be raised again to the top of the flagpole before being fully lowered. For more information about half-masting the flag, visit

If you have any questions, please contact Kartini Havell or Julie Moonlight on (04) 499 4229. Media enquiries should be directed to 027 622 0468.


Updated on 13th March 2020