What International Students Should Know about ANZAC Day in New Zealand (2019 update)

Wednesday, April 24, 2019


  • Every year on the 25th of April New Zealander’s get up early and hold events to commemorate our soldiers.

  • ANZAC Day marks the anniversary of the landing of New Zealand and Australia troops (ANZAC’s) on the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey in 1915
    New Zealand first observed ANZAC Day in 1916, in 1920 the ANZAC Day Act made the 25th of April a public holiday to commemorate those who had died in the First World War. The day now honours all New Zealanders and Australian’s who have fought, died and served in wars overseas.

  • ANZAC Day’s commemorations/celebrations generally have two parts – the dawn service and the parade
    Across the country, most towns in NZ have a dawn service, normally centered around the town war memorial and town hall. Many of the veterans then retire to the local Returned and Services’ Association (RSA) for food and drink. For some the day also starts in the RSA with a gunfire breakfast at dawn.
  • The 100th Anniversary of the ANZAC Day landings were commemorated on April 25th, 2015
    Thousands of New Zealander’s made the trip to Turkey to be at the event, including a representative of the New Zealand Government. The trip to Gallipoli has become an annual pilgrimage and traditions of remembrance are strengthened every year.

  • The ‘Last Post’ is a bugle call that is performed at every ANZAC Remembrance Ceremony
    The last post has become a sacred anthem for allied soldiers, and was first published in the 1970’s. It was originally a call that followed Reveille and First Post during an inspection at the start of the day, hence the name Last Post. The bugle call is an emotional part of remembrance ceremonies across the country and overseas, especially in Australia and England.

  • What to eat: ANZAC Biscuits
    Originally made at galas and public events such as parades, where they were sold to raise money to support the war effort. The ANZAC biscuit is a sweet treat that is popular in Australia and New Zealand, it is made using rolled oats, flour, coconut, sugar, butter and golden syrup. The biscuits have long been associated with the ANZAC forces, but they differ from the biscuit’s soldiers took into war, which were known as ANZAC tiles and ANZAC wafers.

  • Lest we forget/We will remember them
    Lest we forget was taken from an 1897 Christian poem by Rudyard Kipling called “Recessional”. We will remember them is part of Laurence Binyon’s poem For the Fallen which was published in September 1914. Referred to as the Ode of Remembrance it is now part of the ritual of remembrance at each ANZAC Day. Both poems are read at ANZAC services every year and echoed by everyone in attendance.

  • Don’t forget the lessons of the past
    Every year, the ANZAC commemorations have more and more people attending them. The services have taken on a new meaning for the third generation of Kiwis who attend them. It’s a reminder to remember the sacrifices made, care for the people who have been at war and realise that a Great/World War can never happen again.
  • Peacekeeping NZ
    New Zealand has dedicated itself to peacekeeping missions across the world since the close of the Vietnam war. The country was the leader in the nuclear free movement and our Defence Force is mainly deployed on peace-keeping missions around the world.
  • It’s an International event
    ANZAC Day is commemorated worldwide, with services in Turkey, Vietnam, Korea, Belgium, France, England and many other places. You may have heard of or even participated in an ANZAC Day at home or overseas.

  • Where can ANZAC Day be celebrated this year?
    In 2019 many services across NZ have been cancelled after the Christchurch shootings - a terrible day on on March 15th of this year where 50 innocent people of New Zealand's Islam community lost their lives. With 58 events in Auckland cancelled there will be 26 still going ahead, as well as 186 total services happening across the country. If you are looking to find a service to attend tomorrow morning we recommend visiting the RSA website.

Who are iStudent Complaints and what can we help you with?
iStudent Complaints is an independent dispute resolution scheme established by the New Zealand Government. Our objective is to encourage swift settlement of contractual and financial disputes between international students and their providers in New Zealand. As an independent and impartial service, we are not affiliated with any Education providers.

Why did we do this blog?
Even if we need to step in one day to help you resolve a dispute, we want you to enjoy studying and living in our amazing country as much as we do. To that end, we’ve created this content so that you may continue to explore and experience the best New Zealand can offer.