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Pukeahu Hosts 69th Commemoration of Korean War

Media release: 20 June 2019

The public are invited to attend Tuesday’s (25 June) national commemoration to mark the 69th anniversary of the start of the Korean War being held in the Hall of Memories at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park.

Pukeahu, where New Zealanders reflect on this country’s sacrifice in times of war as well as its contribution to peace keeping, will host the commemoration attended by Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, Hon Grant Robertson, Republic of Korea Ambassador His Excellency Mr Seung-bae Yeo and small group of Korean War veterans.

The Korean War began on 25 June 1950, when communist North Korean forces crossed the 38th Parallel into South Korea. New Zealand was one of the first countries to answer the United Nations Security Council’s call for combat assistance.

Some 6,000 New Zealanders served in Korea between 1950 and 1957; 4,700 were members of the army’s Kayforce and 1,300 served on the six Royal New Zealand Navy frigates which were active around the Korean peninsula. Forty-five New Zealand servicemen, including two naval personnel, died in Korea and two others died serving with Australian forces.

The commemoration will remember the service and sacrifice of these New Zealanders. It will also acknowledge the devastating impact of this conflict on the people of Korea.

People wishing to attend should be at the Hall of Memories, Buckle Street, at 10.45am for an 11.00am start.

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

Additional Information:

This annual commemoration is unusual as it is held on or near the anniversary of the start of the war, unlike most other military anniversaries which commemorate the end of the war. While an armistice on 27 July 1953 brought the fighting to an end, no peace settlement was subsequently achieved and the armistice arrangements continue to this day. 

Updated on 21st June 2019