Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Commemorating Sacrifice & Preserving Freedom

The Mapp Report -

ANZAC DAY: Commemorating Sacrifice & Preserving Freedom

It has been ninety years since New Zealanders landed at ANZAC cove in Gallipoli. Only very few New Zealanders from that time are still alive. They would have been children then, and have been acutely aware of the fate of loved ones during the campaign. It is worth recollecting that Gallipoli is further back in time than 1915 was from the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi.

Many of those young men would have been children or grandchildren of the first great wave of British immigrants who came to New Zealand in the 1850s and 1860s. They knew what it meant to be part of Empire, and that is how they saw themselves in April 1915. Yet within a few months, a different sense was emerging; a distinctively New Zealand voice, not one that was disconnected from Britain, but equally not the same as being part of the "home" country.

Ninety years later it is hard to imagine the very real sense of the shared enterprise of Empire. For at least one and maybe two generations, virtually no New Zealander has referred to Britain as home. We are our own country. At ANZAC ceremonies, we celebrate our own nationhood, and the immense sacrifice that was necessary to preserve our freedom. Young New Zealanders know of the truth of this, and that is why so many go to so much effort to make the journey to ANZAC cove, even if it is not all solemn ceremonies.

This is why the flag debate has emerged. ANZAC Day is about our nationhood, and flags are a symbol of nationhood. The most frequent refrain for change is that many New Zealanders want a distinctive flag - that can not be confused with that of any other nation. Canada had this debate 40 years ago, and they managed to contrive a design that is now one of the best known and loved flags on the planet. It is a simple design, of only two colours and the maple leaf symbol, a leaf more associated with Canada than with any other nation.

It is a debate we as a nation will now start to think about, as this week's article in the New Zealand Herald from Ken Adams shows. But it is worth remembering that ninety years ago, our ANZACs fought and died under the stripes of the Union Jack, and the stars of the Southern Cross. For the men of World War 1 and World War II, our current flag will always be their flag, and on ANZAC day we commemorate their sacrifices to preserve our current freedoms.

22nd April 2005

Dr Wayne Mapp

Visit my website for more information at:

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Zimbabwe: New Democracy, Or A False Dawn?

Gordon Campbell: Robert Mugabe = Hosni Mubarak. The current jubilation on the streets of Harare at the fall of Zimbabwe’s dictator Robert Mugabe is genuine, and one hates to be negative about the country’s future. Yet the situation is eerily similar to the scenes in Cairo in early 2011, when a popular uprising swept Hosni Mubarak from power in Egypt. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The New Pike River Agency (And The Air Strike Wing)

Much of the sympathy the public still feels for the families of the Pike River miners has been sustained by the sense that the previous government – let alone the mining company and the processes of receivership and litigation – has never dealt honestly, or fairly, with them. More>>


Not Going Swimmingly: Contractor Cut, New Dates For Christchurch Sports Centre

“As an incoming Minister, I have been conducting a thorough review of progress on the Anchor projects and to learn of a $75 million budget blowout on this project was very disappointing..." More>>


Tertiary: Allowances, Loan Living Costs To Get Boost

“From 1 January, student allowance base rates and the maximum amount students can borrow for living costs will rise by a net $50 a week,” says Education Minister Chris Hipkins... further adjusted from 1 April 2018 in line with any increase in the CPI. More>>


Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>

Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election