Skip to main content

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 webpage to view the full listing of events.

The following events for 2020 were authorised by the Government in 2014. Please note that this is an indicative list and may be subject to review.

2020 Tier 1 event

75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War (1945)

Tier 2 events

175th anniversary of the start of the Northern War

100th anniversary of New Zealand sending its first official team to the Olympics

100th anniversary of New Zealand attending the League of Nations and the 75th anniversary of signing the United Nations Charter

100th anniversary of the opening of the Alexander Turnbull Library

25th anniversary of New Zealand joining the World Trade Organisation.

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 21st February 2020