Monday, February 4, 2013

"God Defend New Zealand"

               With "Waitangi Day" (Formerly known as "New Zealand Day" before its original name of "Waitangi Day" was restored . .. more on that later. . . ) approaching tomorrow, I thought it might be good to give a few of you non-Kiwis a bit of New Zealand culture.  Let's begin with the beautiful New Zealand National Anthem. Five verses have actually been written for "God Defend New Zealand"  but what is most commonly sung is the first verse in both Maori and English.

English Version

"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."

Māori Version

E Ihowā Atua,
O ngā iwi mātou rā
Āta whakarangona;
Me aroha noa
Kia hua ko te pai;
Kia tau tō atawhai;
Manaakitia mai
Verse 2: 
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.
Tomorrow, along with thousands of others, I will be travelling up to the Bay of Islands to participate in the Waitangi Day festivities.  I hope to post photos and give you a bit more insight into why this day is so significant to New Zealand heritage and some of the controversies surrounding it.
Until then. . .

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