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WW100 First World War Centenary Programme announced

WW100 First World War Centenary Programme announced

New Zealand’s programme for commemorations for the 2014-2019 centenary of the First World War, WW100, has been launched today by Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Christopher Finlayson.

The WW100 programme is reflective of New Zealand’s experience of the First World War on the battlefields of Turkey, Europe and Middle East, and on the home front.

“Our First World War centenary programme tells New Zealand stories from one of the most significant global events of the 20th Century,” Mr Finlayson. “This was a conflict that touched all of New Zealand, whether the men and women who went overseas or those who stayed behind.”

The official commemorative programme commences with a public ceremony to mark the beginning of the First World War for New Zealand at Parliament in Wellington on Monday 4 August and a ceremony in Auckland on 29 August to mark the New Zealand occupation of German Samoa.

The WW100 commemoration will address different themes of the experiences of the War over the 2014–2019 period:

2014 - Duty and adventure
2015 - The Anzac connection
2016 - Transition - a national war effort
2017 - The grind of war
2018 - The darkness before the dawn
2019 - Finding our way back

Local communities throughout New Zealand have embraced the centenary creating events and activities reflecting their communities’ experiences of the First World War.

“To date, there are almost 500 projects and activities scheduled to occur in New Zealand over the course of the centenary,” Mr Finlayson said. “Community activities, often telling personal connections and stories, are at the heart of the WW100 programme., They include re-enactments of troop departures, theatre and musical performances, museum and art gallery exhibitions, academic lectures, digitisation of family mementoes, and television documentaries and dramas.”

“In support of these projects, the Lottery Grants Board has recently announced an additional $5 million available for WW100-related projects.”

There will be a peak of activity planned for Anzac Day next year. The overall ‘war story’ will continue to develop significantly as the focus of commemorations moves to the time of the Western Front.

Government-led projects include opening the Pukeahu National War Memorial Park in 2015, a series of thirteen First World War publications, national and international commemorations of significant battles, and heritage trails for New Zealanders travelling to Gallipoli and the battlefields of the Western Front in France and Belgium.

Information about the programme is listed in detail on the WW100 website,

The website now incorporates WW100 events listing supported by Eventfinder, making it is easier to see what’s happening in our regions and also New Zealand events overseas. A new feature powered by Digital New Zealand facilitates public access to over 1,000 official war photographs held in the Alexander Turnbull Library with ‘no known copyright restrictions’, and other public domain items from New Zealand museums, libraries and archives.

“The Centenary is an opportunity to remember and reflect on all New Zealanders’ service and sacrifice during the First World War,” Mr Finlayson said. “It is also a time to better understand what we stood for and why. Through our experience in this conflict, New Zealand’s identity and values became more distinct at home and abroad.”

“I encourage all New Zealanders to take part in the centenary programme,” Mr Finlayson said.

See programme details:


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