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

 


Key: Centenary of New Zealand entering the First World War

John Key

29 JULY, 2014

Centenary of New Zealand entering the First World War

I move, that this House recognise that on the 4th of August 2014, we will mark the centenary of New Zealand entering the First World War.

A few hours after the declaration of war by the British Empire, of which New Zealand was a part, the Governor of New Zealand Lord Liverpool told a crowd of thousands outside Parliament that New Zealand was at war with Germany.

The New Zealand government’s offer to send an expeditionary force – a move endorsed by this Parliament – was hugely significant.

New Zealand’s population in 1914 was just over one million.

The initial deployment was of 8,000 men, but by 1919 over 100,000 New Zealanders – or ten per cent of the population – had left these shores to serve overseas.

They were not just soldiers. They included, for example, medical staff, sailors and tunnellers.

Over 5,000 Maori served in the War, alongside 500 Pacific Islanders. And 550 women served in the New Zealand Army Nursing Service.

Of those who served, 18,000 lost their lives and another 41,000 were wounded.

One in 20 New Zealanders therefore became casualties of the First World War.

This was war on a scale beyond anything New Zealand had experienced before, and the effect on the nation was profound.

Worrying about loved ones, grieving for lost relatives, working to support the war effort, making do, going without – the War touched every person at every level in New Zealand.

Today’s New Zealand has roots in the patience and endurance of those communities, carrying on through the aftermath of the War and building a future for those who followed.

It is no wonder that the First World War is marked by memorials that stand in almost every community in New Zealand.

The contribution of that First World War generation, both on the battlefield and at home, has a deep significance for New Zealanders and is integral to our sense of nationhood.

In the last decade, the number of New Zealanders attending Anzac Day services at home and overseas has risen.

Many have travelled to battle sites and cemeteries in far-off places.

We are proud of those who took part in the First World War, as we are proud of our current Defence Force.

I believe New Zealanders will embrace this Centenary.

It will be a time to honour those who served, a time to remember those who died, and a time to deepen our understanding of a formative event in New Zealand’s history.

Other nations are embarking on a similar journey.

Many millions of people died as a result of the fighting – not just in Europe but in theatres across the globe.

So New Zealand will be marking the Centenary alongside a number of countries, and it will be an opportunity to strengthen our relationship with the people and governments of those nations.

There are too many commemorations and events to name, but I want to mention just a few.

In November we will proudly join Australia at a ceremony at Albany, Western Australia, to mark the joint departure of the Australian Imperial Force and the New Zealand Expeditionary Force.

Alongside our Australian, Turkish and British friends, New Zealand will be commemorating the 100th anniversary of the ANZAC landings at Gallipoli in 2015.

And over the next four years we will be increasing our presence at Anzac Day services and commemorations in France and Belgium.

While the Gallipoli Campaign will always hold an important place for New Zealanders, the Centenary is an opportunity to expand our awareness and knowledge of what happened after Gallipoli, and in particular on the Western Front, where by far the majority of our casualties occurred.

We will be commemorating New Zealand’s involvement in the Battle of the Somme, at Passchendaele, and other major battles in France and Belgium.

Plaques with the names of those battles, and others New Zealand fought in the First World War, surround us in this debating chamber.

More broadly, New Zealand’s WW100 programme encompasses the whole range of this country’s commemorative activity – from state ceremonies and government-led initiatives to grass-roots community projects.

Part of that programme involves major legacy projects such as the National War Memorial Park, Pukeahu – a place to commemorate New Zealand’s involvement in all military conflict and peacekeeping.

Heritage trails in Europe will tell the story of New Zealanders at Gallipoli and on the Western Front.

These and other projects will be enduring reminders that ensure current and future generations never forget the sacrifices that have been made, and the role of war in shaping of this country.

The Government is also a major partner in the First World War Centenary History Programme – a series of up to 13 print publications covering the major campaigns in Europe and the Middle East, New Zealanders’ contributions in the air and at sea, the experiences of soldiers at the front and civilians at home, the Māori war effort, and the war’s impact and legacy.

Equally important are the many community projects that are underway around New Zealand.

WW100 is not a government-run initiative. It is a collaboration between government, local bodies, communities and individuals which seeks to ensure every New Zealander has the chance to be part of the commemorations, and to feel a sense of ownership.

When you travel around New Zealand – as I said before – you see a lot of war memorials with lists of the fallen from that town, or city or country district.

They remind us that each community has its stories to tell.

The WW100 programme encourages communities to tell those stories, and to honour their forebears in whatever way they feel is best.

From now until 2019, when we mark the centenary of our troops returning, the various commemorations, events and projects throughout the country will provide us with the opportunity to honour those who have gone before us, and reflect on their legacy.

We will always remember.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On First Time Voting (Centre Right)

For the next two days, I’m turning my column over to two guest columnists who are first time voters. I’ve asked them to explain why they were voting, for whom and what role they thought their parental upbringing had played in shaping their political beliefs ; and at the end, to choose a piece of music.

One guest columnist will be from the centre right, one from the centre left. Today’s column is from the centre right – by James Penn:

As someone who likes to consider himself, in admittedly vainglorious fashion, a considered and rational actor, the act of voting for the first time is a somewhat confusing one. I know that my vote has a close to zero chance of actually influencing the outcome of Parliament. The chance I will cast the marginal vote that adds to National or Act’s number of seats in Parliament is miniscule. The chance, even if I did, that doing so would affect the government makes voting on a strictly practical level even more spurious as a worthwhile exercise.

But somehow I have spent a large amount of time (perhaps detrimentally so, depending on the outcome of my upcoming exams) agonising over how to cast my first vote in a national election. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

SURVEILLANCE:

Election Ad Soundtrack: Rapper Eminem Sues National Party Over Copyright Breach

US rapper Eminem is suing the New Zealand National Party for alleged copyright infringement over unauthorised use of the rapper’s ‘Lose Yourself’ song in an election campaign advertisement. More>>

ALSO:

Pre-Election Chartering: Four New Partnership Schools To Open

Education Minister Hekia Parata today announced the Government has signed contracts to open four new Partnership Schools in 2015. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf 50 Out Now - The Election Issue: Loss Leaders

Gordon Campbell: A third term requires a mature decision, with eyes wide open. It calls for a conscious vote of confidence… Without trying hard here are about 19 reasons, in no particular order, for not ticking ‘party vote’ National. More>>

ALSO:

Not-Especially New Plans: All Prisons To Become Working Prisons Under National

All public prisons in New Zealand will become full working prisons by 2017, and ex-prisoners will receive post-release drug addiction treatment if National is returned to government, says Corrections Spokesperson Anne Tolley. More>>

ALSO:

Māngere: "False Claim Of Matai Title" - Labour

National must explain why its candidate for Māngere Misa Fia Turner appears to be using a Matai title she is not entitled to, Labour’s MP for Māngere and Pacific Islands Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio says. A Matai title is a legally-recognised ... More>>

ALSO:

CPAG Report: No New Zealand Child Should Grow Up In Poverty

Child Poverty Action Group's flagship policy publication Our Children, Our Choice: Priorities for Policy calls for cross party political agreement to underpin an action plan to eliminate child poverty in New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On National’s Phantom Tax Cut Package

Hmmm. So National’s tax cuts package turns out to be one of those television advertisements that screams a headline promise – perfect skin! a youth tonic that works! – while in very small print there’s an out clause: special conditions may apply. More>>

ALSO:

Water: New Marine Reserves On West Coast Opened

Five new marine reserves were officially opened by Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith on the West Coast of the South Island to protect a range of marine ecosystems for conservation, science and recreation. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news