Germany surrendered on 7 May, New Zealand time, but acting Prime Minister Walter Nash insisted that celebrations should wait until Winston Churchill officially announced peace − at 1 a.m. on 9 May New Zealand time.
Germany surrendered in the early afternoon of 7 May 1945, New Zealand time. The news became known the next morning, with huge headlines in the morning papers. But the acting prime minister, Walter Nash, insisted that celebrations should wait until British Prime Minister Winston Churchill officially announced the peace, which would not be heard in New Zealand until 1 a.m. on 9 May.
New Zealand seamen celebrate victory in London in 1945. They are some of the 4700 New Zealanders who were attached to the Royal Navy on D-Day. Many of them were on board the ships that carried the invasion force to Normandy and supported it with naval gunfire.
After over five years of rationing and anxiety about loved ones overseas, New Zealanders greeted the coming of peace in Europe in May 1945, and then victory over Japan in August, with understandable relief and enthusiasm.