God Defend New Zealand / Aotearoa

This hymn is one of New Zealand's two National Anthems.

The English lyrics were written as a poem in the 1870s by Irish-born, Australian-raised, New Zealand-immigrant, poet, journalist and politician Thomas Bracken (1843-1898).

In 1876, a newspaper ran a competition to compose music for the poem. The winner was a tune by teacher, song-writer and local-government official, John Joseph Woods (1849–June 1934). The song was first performed in 1876.

Sheet music was published in February 1878, and in the same year George Grey, the Govenor of New Zealand, asked English-born New Zealand Native Land Court Judge and poet, Thomas Henry Smith (1824–1907) to make a Māori language version of the song. This version is not a direct translation, and is known as "Aotearoa".

Today, verses from the Maori and English versions are often sung one after the other - in a variety of arrangements.


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Singer with guitar(?) led band - professional recording:

Large event performance:

Signer with brass-band - ANZAC Day service:

Barbershop quartet, unaccompanied:

Singer with guitar, acoustic:

Instrumental - electric guitar:

Lyrics - God Defend New Zealand

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.

We 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
Freedoms 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 all
Working out Thy glorious plan,
God defend New Zealand.

Lyrics - Aotearoa

E Ihowā Atua,
O ngā iwi mātou rā
āta whakarongona;
Me aroha noa
Kia hua ko te pai;
Kia tau tō atawhai;
Manaakitia mai

Ōna mano tāngata
Kiri whero, kiri mā,
Iwi Māori Pākehā,
Rūpeke katoa,
Nei ka tono ko ngā hë
Māu e whakaahu kë,
Kia ora mārire

Tōna mana kia tū!
Tōna kaha kia ū;
Tōna rongo hei pakū
Ki te ao katoa
Aua rawa ngā whawhai
Ngā tutū a tata mai;
Kia tupu nui ai

Waiho tona takiwā
Ko te ao mārama;
Kia whiti tōna rā
Taiāwhio noa.
Ko te hae me te ngangau
Meinga kia kore kau;
Waiho i te rongo mau

Tōna pai me toitū
Tika rawa, pono pū;
Tōna noho, tana tū;
Iwi nō Ihowā.
Kaua mōna whakamā;
Kia hau te ingoa;
Kia tū hei tauira;

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