Buttes New British Cemetery, Belgium - New Zealand Sunset Ceremony

New Zealand Sunset Ceremony at Buttes New British Cemetery, 12th October 2017.


One hundred years ago in Belgium, New Zealand suffered its darkest day. More than 800 New Zealand soldiers died at the Battle of Passchendaele. Now New Zealand returns to remember those laid to rest on Belgian soil, those who returned to a distant home -  and the ties that still bind our countries a century later.


The day concluded with a sunset ceremony in Buttes New British Cemetery in Polygon Wood at 7.15 p.m. finishing at 8 p.m. The New Zealand Memorial to the Missing for those 388 New Zealanders who were killed in the vicinity of Polygon Wood between September 1917 and May 1918 and who have no known grave is located within this cemetery. The cemetery has 95 known New Zealand graves. There are, however, over 1600 unknown soldiers buried in this cemetery. 



National Anthem of New Zealand (God Defend New Zealand)


Māori verse: "Aotearoa"

E Ihowā Atua, O ngā iwi mātou rā

Āta whakarangona; Me aroha noa

Kia hua ko te pai; Kia tau tō atawhai;

Manaakitia mai Aotearoa

 English verse: "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.


The haka (plural haka, as in Māori, so in English)

is a traditional war cry, war dance, or challenge from the Māori people of New Zealand. It is a posture dance performed by a group, with vigorous movements and stamping of the feet with rhythmically shouted accompaniment.