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The national anthem of the country New Zealand. Like many national athems, most people only know the first verse. There are verses in English and in Maori.

The words were written by Thomas Bracken early in the 1870's. He offered a prize of 10 gineaus for the best setting of the words to music, which was won by Otago school teacher, John Woods.

In 1940, upon the recommendation of the NZ Centennial Council, the Government bought the copyright and declared God Defend New Zealand as the offical National Hymn of New Zealand. In 1977, Queen Elizabeth II gave consent for God Defend New Zealand to have equal status with God Save the Queen to be one of New Zealand's national anthems.

Words: Thomas Bracken
Music: John Woods

English Verses

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 ev'ry 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.

Maori Verses

E Ihoa Atua,
O nga Iwi Matoura,
Ata whaka rongona;
Me aroha noa.
Kia hua ko te pai;
Kia tau to atawhai;
Manaakitia mai
Aotearoa

Ona mano tangata
Kiri whero, kiri ma,
Iwi Maori Pakeha
Repeke katoa,
Nei ka tono ko nga he
Mau e whakaahu ke,
Kia ora marire
Aotearoa

Waiho tona takiwa
Ko te ao marama;
Kia whiti tona ra
Taiawhio noa.
Ko te hae me te ngangau
Meinga kia kore kau;
Waiho i te rongo mau
Aotearoa

Tona pai me toitu;
Tika rawa, pono pu;
Tona noho, tana tu;
Iwi no Ihoa.
Kaua mona whakama;
Kia hau te ingoa;
Kia tu hei tauira;
Aotearoa