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 2016 were authorised by the Government in 2014. Please note that this is an indicative list and may be subject to review
2016 Tier 1 event
100th anniversary of the War in France (1916)
Tier 2 events
200th anniversary of New Zealand's first school
150th anniversary of the Cook Strait undersea telegraph cable and the 140th anniversary of the trans-Tasman undersea telegraph cable
120th anniversary of the first public film screening, 100th anniversary of the introduction of film censorship and the 75th anniversary of the establishment of the National Film Unit.
October 2016 sees the 120th anniversary of the first public film screenings in New Zealand. A season of films that shaped New Zealand marked the anniversary at Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision Wellington from 12 to 22 October - full programme details are here.
75th anniversary of the founding of the Royal New Zealand Navy
More details about the International Naval Review from 17-22 November 2016 are here.
50th anniversary of Vietnam War (Battle of Long Tan)
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.