Te Wiki O Te Reo Maori – the New Zealand National Anthem

July 26th 2012
Did you know there are five verses to God Defend New Zealand? And all five have been translated in to Maori ... in fact, they were first translated in 1878.

Since 1977 New Zealand has had two official national anthems – both God Defend New Zealand and God Save The Queen.  However, it is the Māori, followed by the English, version of God Defend New Zealand that has naturally become the standard this century.

It was 1999 when Hinewehi Mohi sung the New Zealand national anthem in Māori as the All Blacks ran onto Twickenham for the Rugby World Cup semi-final against France.  The controversy that surrounded that decision seems in the very far distance now, as both national languages get boisterous renditions at every game these days.

In a 2005 video for our school resource 'Making Music', Hinewehi discussed that experience – which has recently gone live over at NZ On Screen.  You can see that video here, and if you feel like checking out a couple more, the directory of 'Making Music' clips is here.

If you want to test you knowledge of the national anthems – and practice your pronunciation for Te Wiki O Te Reo Maori – you can download the lyrics for all five verses over at the Ministry for Culture & Heritage website.  They have a whole National Anthem section, including the musical score  and sound files.

Speaking of sound files – they are a helpful resource at NZHistory.net.nz - 100 Māori words every New Zealander should know.  You can even download all 100 words as an MP3!


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