Today is Army Day, so from us here at the Museum we want to wish the New Zealand Army a happy birthday!
On March 25, 1845, the Militia Act passed into law creating the ‘New Zealand Military Forces’ and in 1860 the first regular force was created. The title of ‘New Zealand Army’ was formally adopted in the 1950s, and in 1994 the NZ Army became ‘Ngāti Tūmatauenga’.
A unique blend of British and Māori heritage, Ngāti Tūmatauenga is the NZ Army; an iwi created by, with, and for the state. Afforded the title by Sir Charles Bennett, DSO, the last Commanding Officer of 28 (Māori) Battalion, the warrior ethos of the NZ Army heavily draws from Te Ao Māori, the Māori world view.
The NZ Army is considered a world-class, combat-ready land force and has been involved in several international conflicts, including the Second Boer War, World War I and World War II, the Korean War, the Malayan Emergency, Indonesia–Malaysia Confrontation, the Vietnam War, and more recently in peace-keeping operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Personnel have been deployed in various roles across the world including Egypt, the Middle East, South Sudan, South Korea, and Antarctica.
The NZ Army culture is based on the values of Tū Kaha (courage), Tū Tika (commitment), Tū Tira (comradeship) and Tū Maia (integrity). It embraces diversity, shared experience, and strives to be a force for all New Zealanders, embraced in Te Ao Māori. Here at the National Army Museum Te Mata Toa, we are proud to tell the stories of the New Zealand Army and to hold the taonga from its long and battle-worn history. So, to all past and present soldiers of the NZ Army, thank you for your service.