The First World War (1914–1918) was one of the most significant events of the 20th century, and had a deep and lingering impact on New Zealand society. Ten percent of our then population of one million served overseas, of which more than 18,000 died and over 40,000 were wounded. Nearly every New Zealand family was affected.
The growing attendance at Anzac Day ceremonies in New Zealand, and the steady increase in visitors to battlefields in Turkey and Europe, demonstrate a continuing interest in the significance of this conflict.
The New Zealand Government has developed the WW100 programme to mark the First World War centenary from 2014 to 2018. The minister responsible for the programme is the Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, Hon Christopher Finlayson, and the First World War Centenary Programme (WW100) Office is located in the Ministry for Culture and Heritage.
‘WW100’ is also a shared identity for New Zealand First World War centenary projects and activities, from official state ceremonies to community initiatives and personal projects.