The special relationship between Kiwis and Aussies that began on the battlefields of Gallipoli continues to this day, says New Zealand Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae.
At a speech at Anzac Cove, Turkey, on Anzac Day, Sir Jerry, a former head of the New Zealand Defence Force, referenced the friendships forged between soldiers who fought and lost their lives there 99 years ago.
“Australians and New Zealanders retain a special relationship and confidence in each other to this day,” he told the 4400 mostly Australian and New Zealand pilgrims.
“Our histories, our people and our well-being are tightly interwoven.”
The governor-general said the two nations still worked together in defence, especially in support of Pacific neighbours.
It was important to remember the momentous events of history, even as time moved on, Sir Jerry said.
“We do that not to glorify war, but to pay homage to the men and women who served in them.
“They have served, and some of them are currently serving, often very far from home, to defend our freedoms and to bring about a better peace for their families, for our families.”
He said it was also a time to reflect on war and its impact, and encourage new generations to strive for peace.
Next year will be the 100th anniversary of the eight-month Gallipoli campaign, when some 2700 New Zealanders died alongside 8700 Australians.
Sir Jerry finished his speech by referring to the values that come out of war, including comradeship, courage, compassion and loyalty.
“Looking back, we know wars pass but these values and the prospect of a better peace endure.”