In 2014, the Government updated its earlier commemorations policy, agreed in 2009/10 in recognition of the need for a co-ordinated approach between agencies to mark particularly important events and anniversaries, and to ensure better forward planning for these big events.
The updated commemorations policy categorises these anniversaries as either Tier 1 or Tier 2 national events. The Tier 1 list consists of anniversaries of events which had a significant impact on the nation as a whole or on the pattern of New Zealand life; an example being the 100th anniversary of the First World War.
The Tier 2 list is made up of anniversaries of events which were highly important but not of the same nation-changing magnitude. Nationally-significant anniversaries, whether Tier 1 or Tier 2, typically refer to anniversaries that are a multiple of 25 (25th, 50th, 75th, 100th anniversaries, and so on).
Visit the Commemorations 2014-2020 page to view the full listing of events.
The following events for 2017 were authorised by the Government in 2014. Please note that this is an indicative list and may be subject to review.
Tier 1 event
100th anniversary of the war in Belgium and Sinai/Palestine (1917)
Tier 2 events
150th anniversary of the Māori Representation Act establishing Māori seats in Parliament
150th anniversary of the creation of the Native School system
100th anniversary of the introduction and 50th anniversary of the end of 6 o'clock closing in bars
50th anniversary of the adoption of the decimal currency.
Centenary of the First World War commemorations
Dates for key New Zealand domestic and overseas commemorative and ceremonial events which will be marked during the First World War centenary from 2014 to 2019 were announced by former Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Christopher Finlayson in September 2013. Relevant media releases include the following:
Details about various New Zealand historic events and anniversaries can be found on our NZHistory.net.nz and Te Ara —The Encyclopedia of New Zealand websites.