Listen to the National Anthem

 God Defend New Zealand - The National Anthem:

Sung by New Zealander Hayley Westenra

at the Rugby World Cup Final 2011

 

The National Anthem sung by Hayley Westenra at the Rugby World Cup 2011

The anthem has English and Māori lyrics, with slightly different meanings.

The words to the English version of 'God Defend New Zealand' were written by Thomas Bracken, and the music by John Joseph Woods (1876).

The Anthem, as we know it, was first sung on Christmas Day 1876 in Dunedin by The Lydia Howarde Burlesque and Opera Buffe Troupe accompanied by the Royal Artillery Band. The anthem became New Zealand's National Hymn in 1940 and since 1977 has had equal status with 'God Save the Queen' as New Zealand's National Anthem.

When performed in public, the usual practice is to sing the first verse in both Māori and English.

You don't have to learn the words, but you might want to sing along. So here are the lyrics for you: 

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.

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.

Māori version

E Ihowä Atua,
O ngä iwi mätouä
Äta whakarongona;
Me aroha noa
Kia hua ko te pai;
Kia tau tö atawhai;
Manaakitia mai
Aotearoa

Öna mano tangata
Kiri whero, kiri mä,
Iwi Mäori Päkehä,
Repeke katoa,
Nei ka tono ko ngä hë
Mäu e whakaahu kë,
Kia ora märire
Aotearoa

Töna mana kia tü!
Töna kaha kia ü;
Töna rongo hei pakü
Ki te ao katoa
Aua rawa ngä whawhai
Ngä tutü a tata mai;
Kia tupu nui ai
Aotearoa

Waiha tona takiwä
Ko te ao märama;
Kia whiti töna rä
Taiäwhio noa.
Ko te hae me te ngangau
Meinga kia kore kau;
Waiho i te rongo mau
Aotearoa

Töna pai me toitü
Tika rawa, ponu pü;
Töna noho, tana tü;
Iwi nö Ihowä.
Kaua möna whakamä;
Kia hau te ingoa;
Kia tü hei tauira;
Aotearoa

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