Events In History


Maori and the First World War

  • Maori and the First World War

    Māori reactions to serving in the First World War largely reflected iwi experiences of British actions in the 19th century.

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  • Page 3 – Resistance to conscription

    In his recruitment waiata, 'Te ope tuatahi', Ngata made it clear that the replacement recruits that he and his colleagues had raised all came from the East Coast tribes of

Conscientious objection

  • Conscientious objection

    There are always supporters and opponents of a country fighting a war. Over 2500 conscientious objectors lost their civil rights in New Zealand for refusing to serve in the First World War.

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  • Page 2 – Military Service Act

    The Military Service Act 1916 allowed limited exemption from service. Men who were exempted had to be prepared to provide alternative non-combatant service in New Zealand or

  • Page 3 – Socialist objection

    Many socialist and labour leaders criticised the First World War as an imperialist war and strongly opposed conscription. New Zealand workers, they argued, had no quarrel with

  • Page 4 – Pacifist objection

    Pacifists and Christian socialists opposed the war on moral or religious grounds.

  • Page 5 – Māori objection

    Māori served in the First World War in the Native Contingent. At home, there was some strong Māori opposition to conscription.

British Empire

First World War - overview

  • First World War - overview

    Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the throne of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and his wife Sophie were assassinated in the Bosnian city of Sarajevo. This was a key event in sparking the Great War of 1914–18.

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  • Page 5 - The war at homeNew Zealand played a small but useful part in the British Empire's war effort, and its essential war aim was achieved with the defeat of Germany and its allies in late 1918. New

Merchant marine

  • Merchant marine

    On 3 September New Zealand honoured Merchant Navy Day. Here we explore the little-known but vital role played by the merchant marine during the First World War. As in the Second World War, in 1914-18 these civilian seafarers often found themselves in the front lines of the war at sea.

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  • Page 8 - Politics, patriotism and protestAlthough New Zealand seafarers served in many hostile theatres, some questioned the politics of the

The Ottoman Empire

  • The Ottoman Empire

    Few Kiwis today know much about one of our main First World War enemies, the Ottoman Empire - a sophisticated but often forgotten empire whose soldiers fought against New Zealand troops for four years in the Gallipoli, Sinai and Palestine campaigns.

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  • Page 12 - The Turkish soldier's experienceMehmetçik – ‘Little Mehmet’ – was an affectionate Turkish nickname for Ottoman (Turkish)