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New Zealand National Anthem

New Zealand National Anthem

New Zealand Anthem

New Zealand has two national anthems. They are "God Defend New Zealand" and "God Save the Queen." Both have equal status but the former is now more frequently heard at official occasions and sporting events such as The Olympics and All Blacks rugby matches.

Originally a poem written in the 1870s, "God Defend New Zealand" was put to music in 1876. It has two versions, one in Maori and the other in English. The author was Thomas Bracken, an Irish-born immigrant who came to Dunedin from Victoria in Australia.

Composed in five verses the first is as follows.

God of Nations at Thy feet,

In the bonds of love we meet,

Hear our voices, we entreat,

God defend our free land.

Guard Pacific's triple star

From the shafts of strife and war,

Make her praises heard afar,

God defend New Zealand.

The other four (little known and rarely heard) verses are:

Men of every creed and race,

Gather here before Thy face,

Asking Thee to bless this place,

God defend our free land.

From dissension, envy, hate,

And corruption guard our state,

Make our country good and great,

God defend New Zealand.

Peace, not war, shall be our boast,

But, should foes assail our coast,

Make us then a mighty host,

God defend our free land.

Lord of battles in Thy might,

Put our enemies to flight,

Let our cause be just and right,

God defend New Zealand.

Let our love for Thee increase,

May Thy blessings never cease,

Give us plenty, give us peace,

God defend our free land.

From dishonour and from shame,

Guard our country's spotless name,

Crown her with immortal fame,

God defend New Zealand.

May our mountains ever be

Freedom's ramparts on the sea,

Make us faithful unto Thee,

God defend our free land.

Guide her in the nations' van,

Preaching love and truth to man,

Working out Thy glorious plan,

God defend New Zealand. 

You can listen to the music of the anthem here.


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