Gaza Post – Agencies
New Zealand is one of only two countries in the world with two official national anthems of equal status. The traditional anthem "God Save the Queen" is generally used only on regal and vice-regal occasions.
"God Save the Queen" (alternatively known as "God Save the King" in the reign of a male monarch) was inherited from Britain when New Zealand was made a colony. In 1860 it was translated into Māori by Edward Marsh Williams, son of missionary Henry Williams, who had as a youth helped his father translate the Treaty of Waitangi. It remained the country's sole national anthem until 1977.
"God Defend New Zealand" is a poem that was written by Thomas Bracken in the 1870s. It was set to music and first publicly performed in 1876. A Māori translation of the original English was produced in 1878 by Thomas Henry Smith. In 1940 the New Zealand Government bought the copyright and made it New Zealand's 'national hymn' in time for that year's centennial celebrations. It was used at the British Empire Games from 1950 onward, and at the Olympics from 1972. Following the performance at the Summer Olympics in Munich, a campaign began to have the hymn officially adopted as a national anthem