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Governor-General's Anzac Day Dawn Service Address

Rt Hon Dame Cindy Kiro, GNZM, QSO
Governor-General of New Zealand,
Anzac Day Dawn Service Address 2024
Pukeahu National War Memorial Park, Wellington

Rere ana nga roimata o Hine tērā te pae o Te Riri. Huihuia mai tātau katoa tēnei te pae o Maumahara. E nga iwi, kei aku rangatira wāhine ma, tāne mā tēnā tātau katoa.

I specifically acknowledge:

- Taranaki Whānui

- The Honourable Nicola Willis, Minister of the Crown

- Their Excellencies, the Ambassador of the Republic of Türkiye and High Commissioner of Australia

- The Honourable Peeni Henare, MP

- Her Worship Tory Whanau, Mayor of Wellington

- Air Marshal Kevin Short, Chief of the New Zealand Defence Force

- General Angus Campbell, Chief of the Australian Defence Force

- Kevin Arlidge, President of the Wellington Returned and Services’ Association

And as always, a most special welcome to our veterans and to their whānau - both those who are present and those watching from home.

109 years after the landing of the ANZACs at Gallipoli, Anzac Day still holds deep significance for New Zealanders, as we see from the many thousands gathered here to greet the dawn, in honour of the sacrifice of our forebears.

Though we no longer have direct links to those who witnessed the First World War, such was its impact that it will always remain part of our family histories and our collective memory.

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Since our first Anzac Day on the 25th of April 1916, the scope of our remembrance has expanded to include all other wars and armed conflicts in which New Zealand has been involved, as well as our ongoing efforts in peacekeeping.

I would like to give a special greeting here to the New Zealand and Australian Somalia veterans who have gathered to mark the 30th anniversary of the completion of New Zealand Defence Force operations in Somalia. Around 250 New Zealand Defence Force personnel played a vital role in the UN mission to protect humanitarian aid and restore peace.

This morning I also wish to honour veterans of the Second World War, whose numbers are sadly fewer with the passing of the years.

There will still be people in our communities who remember the war effort at home, what it was like to be left behind by family members and friends who served, the loss of loved ones, or loved ones forever changed by their traumatic experience of service.

This year, we acknowledge the 80th anniversary of a number of significant campaigns during the Second World War.

We remember the involvement of New Zealanders at the Battle of Cassino, one of the most brutal battles of the Second World War, as well as the New Zealand 2nd Division’s role in the capture of Faenza. We also remember the RNZAF operations in the Pacific, as well as the New Zealand 3rd Division’s involvement in operations against Japanese troops on Nissan Island, just north of Bougainville.

This year, we also acknowledge the many thousands of New Zealanders who served in the Royal Air Force, the Royal Navy, and the Merchant Navy on D-Day - the 6th of June 1944 - and in the months that followed.

By acknowledging these significant Second World War anniversaries, we honour the service, suffering, and sacrifice of our people in that momentous war.

Every New Zealand community has in some way been touched by our experience of war. More than 250,000 New Zealanders have served in war and peacekeeping operations - and of these, more than 30,000 have lost their lives, with many more wounded. On Anzac Day, we honour all who have served our nation, and all who have lost their lives as a result of their service.

We must also give special thought and thanks to the members of our New Zealand Defence Force who continue to serve with courage and professionalism in high-risk environments, both at home and overseas - and also to members of the New Zealand Police who serve in peace support roles.

On this Anzac Day, as we reflect on the service and sacrifice of New Zealanders across our military history, our thoughts and prayers are with the families around the world who continue to experience the horrors of war.

With our collective remembrance, and steadfast belief in our common humanity, we strengthen our hope and resolve to do what we can to foster dialogue and understanding, and to heal divisions in our pursuit of peace.

Kia maumahara tonu tātou ki a rātou. We will remember them.

© Scoop Media

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