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New Zealand to mark the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War

Media release: 10 August 2020

[12 August 2020 update - Regrettably, this service is no longer possible due to restrictions in place in response to COVID-19 pandemic].

The 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War will be acknowledged on 15 August, with a commemorative service at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park in Wellington, Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage Chief Executive Bernadette Cavanagh said today.

“New Zealand will join countries around the world in marking the historic anniversary of the surrender by Japan, which represented the end of the War in the Pacific and was the culmination of six long years of war across the rest of the world,” says Bernadette Cavanagh.

“The Second World War claimed the lives of 50 million people and had an enormous role in shaping the world we live in today. Almost 12,000 New Zealanders died in the war.

“The national commemoration will be attended by the Governor-General Her Excellency The Rt Hon Dame Patsy Reddy, who will give the Commemorative Address, the Prime Minister Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern, Leader of the Opposition Hon Judith Collins and Minister of Defence Hon Ron Mark.

“This year’s commemoration is especially poignant as a number of veterans will be in attendance. 

“Many countries are unable to hold traditional commemoration events due to COVID-19 restrictions this year. New Zealand is in a privileged position to be able to hold a ceremony that members of the public can attend, and we are encouraging people to come along and show their support,” said Bernadette Cavanagh.

People wishing to attend the commemoration are asked to assemble in Anzac Square, Pukeahu at 12.45pm for a 1pm start.

For those unable to attend, the commemoration will be live streamed on the Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage website ( and on the Pukeahu Facebook page (

More information about the Second World War is featured on the NZHistory website at:


For further information contact:

[email protected]

027 622 0468

Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Event details:

What:               75th Anniversary of the end of the Second World War

           National Commemorative Service

Where:             Pukeahu National War Memorial Park, Buckle Street, Wellington

                        (Wet weather venue: Dominion Museum Building, Massey University)

When:             Saturday 15 August 2020, 1pm (please arrive by 12.45pm)

Livestream:     Available at or


Updated on 12th August 2020