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Rules & protocols

The Ministry manages a number of national memorials and emblems that are protected by legislation.

New Zealand Coat of Arms

Under the Flags, Emblems and Names Protection Act 1981, only government agencies can use the New Zealand Coat of Arms. It may not be used by private individuals or organisations. The Coat of Arms can be only used with the permission of the Ministry.

More about the Coat of Arms.

New Zealand Flag

The New Zealand Flag is protected under the same legislation. As the national symbol of New Zealand, it is to be honoured and treated with respect. To destroy or damage the Flag in a public place with the intention of dishonouring it is an offence - as is the placement of any letter, emblem or representation on the Flag.

Individuals and organisations may use the New Zealand Flag in advertising. Letters or designs should not be added to the Flag unless they are clearly separate to the Flag design. If you want to use the New Zealand Flag in advertisements or for commercial purposes, contact us to discuss your ideas.

Section 18A of the Flags, Emblems, and Names Protection Act 1981 was inserted on 5 December 2013 through the Statutes Amendment Bill. Section 18A provides protections against unauthorised use of words and emblems relating to 28 Māori Battalion.

More about the New Zealand Flag.


The importance of 'Anzac' to New Zealand is enshrined in law with the use of the term 'Anzac' protected since 1916.  Section 17 of the Flags, Emblems, and Names Protection Act 1981 states that, 'The Governor-General may... prohibit, regulate, or control the use in connection with any business, trade, or occupation of the word 'Anzac' or of any other word that so closely resembles the word 'Anzac' as to be likely to deceive or mislead any person.' This means that the term 'Anzac' can’t be used for any commercial venture. It is also protected under international copyright laws.

The Ministry has compiled some guidelines as to what uses of Anzac or ANZAC will generally not be in breach of the prohibition in section 17.

We recommend using the term 'ANZAC' with all capitals only when referring to the specific Corps.  For all other uses 'Anzac' is preferred.

Use of the word ‘Anzac’ guidelines

Royal Emblems

Section 12 of the same Act prohibits the use of certain Royal emblems if the way it is used could lead anyone to believe that the use has the “authority, sanction, approval, appointment or patronage of” the Queen or the Governor-General, and the use has not been authorised by the Queen or the Governor-General. 

The Ministry has prepared guidelines on the use of the word "Royal" which explains the process for obtaining authorisation.

Use of the word "Royal" guidelines

Massey Memorial

The Massey Memorial is located at Point Halswell overlooking Wellington city harbour. The memorial is the family grave of William Ferguson Massey, Prime Minister 1912-25 and his wife Christina.

The memorial is in the care of the Ministry and is governed under the terms of the Massey Burial Ground Act of 1925. All enquiries for use of the memorial grounds must be sent in writing to the Ministry who will contact the Massey family for their consideration.

The consumption of alcohol is prohibited at all times on site.

More about the Massey Memorial.

National War Memorial

The National War Memorial located at the Pukeahu National War Memorial Park in Wellington commemorates all New Zealanders who gave their lives in conflict, and honours those who served their country in war and on peace-keeping operations world-wide.

The memorial’s governance is administered by the Ministry through the National War Memorial Act 1992. Any requests for use of the memorial are to be made in writing to the Curator who will contact the National War Memorial Advisory Council for consideration.

The National War Memorial does not permit any commercial activity either inside the building or anywhere within its grounds.

The consumption of alcohol is prohibited at all times.

The memorial is open daily and group visits are welcome. Contact the National War Memorial for further information either by e-mail or by telephoning (04) 385 2496.

Alongside the Memorial, is Pukeahu National War Memorial Park which commemorates the more than 300,000 New Zealanders who have served their country and the 30,000 who have died.

More about the National War Memorial.

More about Pukeahu National War Memorial Park

Enforcement and Prosecution policies

The Ministry's enforcement and prosecution policies for the following legislation are available on our legislation page.

  • Enforcement policy and principles for the Flags, Emblems and Names Protection Act 1981
  • Enforcement policy and principles for the Protected Objects Act 1975.

Our legislation page.

Updated on 25th January 2018