Stories, thoughts, observations, rants and dribble. Just another of my attempts to keep the interested people informed ...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Guard Pacific's triple star...

Tomorrow morning I'm getting up ridiculously early to help out at a business breakfast that the 38th Prime Minister of New Zealand, the Honourable John Key (or 'The Key' as certain notable people like to call him), is speaking at.  Why am I doing this?  Well, it was expensive to pay to go, and I get free breakfast this way.  If you are unlucky enough to not be in Shanghai tomorrow, you could always drop him a line on ye olde Facebook.  He's down with the kids these days.

So, on the eve of this auspicious occasion, I would like to present some choice cuts from the New Zealand national anthem, God Defend New Zealand.  It's pretty God-centric, but that should be unsurprising, given the title.  There's also nothing about Peter Jackson or JRR Tolkien.

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.

From dishonour and from shame
Guard our country's spotless name
Crown her with immortal fame,
God defend New Zealand.

Ona mano tangata
Kiri whero, kiri ma,
Iwi Maori Pakeha*,
Repeke katoa.
[Let all people,
Red skin, white skin
Mäori, Päkehä
Gather before you.]

Tona pai me toitü
Tika rawa, ponu pü;
Tona noho, tana tü;
Iwi no Ihowa.
Kaua mona whakama;
Kia hau te ingoa;
Kia tü hei tauira;
[Let its good features endure,
Let righteousness and honesty prevail
Among the people of God
Let it never be ashamed,
But rather, let its name be known
Thereby becoming the model to emulate,
Aotearoa .]

Thanks to for the full lyrics, including English, Maori, and translated Maori versions.  I only ever knew a couple of verses of each (I knew there were five, but I don't think I've ever heard anyone sing all of them).  There's also an audio file of the NZSO playing the anthem, which is lovely, but too short.

Also of interest is the fact that the official alternative national anthem is God Save the Queen.  Yes, we are in the Commonwealth, but I didn't know we had an alternative theme tune.  Actually, it's not even really an alternative, because they have the same status.  We have two national anthems.  But only one nation.  Also, GDNZ used to be the national hymn.  I didn't even know that was a thing.

Finally, to help NZ achieve immortal fame, Rhys Darby (you may know him from his stand-up comedy, or from his work with Flight of the Conchords) and his wife have a production company called Awesomeness International.  I'd be upset that he stole my idea, except that he is indeed pretty awesome.

*Pakeha generally means whities.  Although apparently it can now refer to any non-Maori person?  Weird.

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