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Armistice Centenary commemorated this weekend

At 11am on 11 November, Aotearoa New Zealand will mark the centenary of the Armistice that ended the First World War in 1918.

A range of commemorative events are taking place across Wellington.

The Government will acknowledge the centenary with a number of events at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park in Wellington, with the National Ceremony at Pukeahu beginning at 10.45am.

A two-minute silence will be observed at 11.00am, continuing a tradition begun in 1919. This silence will be broken by a fanfare of bells, sirens and horns across the city and harbour, led by the full bells of the Carillon, echoing the joyous sounds heard across Aotearoa when news of the Armistice reached our shores.

The ceremony will culminate in a creative performance, He Wawā Waraki: Roaring Chorus 2018, which weaves historic text, contemporary poetry, waiata, dance and music to evoke the energy, noise and complex emotion of the moment when war finally gave way to peace.

He Wawā Waraki: Roaring Chorus 2018 is directed by choreographer Malia Johnston and includes an original score by composer Eden Mullholland and a poem from Airini Beautrais commissioned specially for the centenary. It features performances from Maisey Rika, Jennifer Ward-Lealand, Hau Manu ki Te Papa, Supertonic and a 50-strong cast of dancers and drummers.

Later in the day, at 7.30pm, New Zealand Defence Force will conduct a Sunset Ceremony which will include the final daily Last Post Ceremony of the First World War Centenary.

Both the National Ceremony and the Sunset Ceremony will be live-streamed on the WW100 Facebook page.

Road and parking restrictions will be in place as follows:

  • Tasman Street, Mt Cook (between Tory Street and Rugby Street): Road closed from 9.00am to 1.00pm
  • Tory Street, Mt Cook (between Tasman Street and Haining Street): Road closed from 9.00am to 1.00pm
  • Rugby Street, Mt Cook (between Tasman Street and Sussex Street): No parking. Detours in place from 9.00am to 1.00pm
  • Haining Street/Frederick St: Streets open but detours in place from 9.00am to 1.00pm
  • Martin Square (south side): No parking from 9.00am to 1.00pm

The LitCrawl Extended event, Armistice Day: The Eleventh Hour on the Eleventh Day is on when you might expect (11:00am to 12.00pm on Sunday 11 November) at the National Library of New Zealand, 70 Molesworth Street, with Murdoch Stephens, Stefanie Lash, Robyn Hunt, Rachel Buchanan, Harry Ricketts, Yazan El Fares and Mohammad El Fares reflecting on the importance of the day.

There are a range of free Remembering Armistice events at Te Papa this weekend.

Children’s Day on Saturday runs from 11.00am to 3.30pm on Level 4. Come along (in period costume if you like) to make flags and decorations, write a peace message for the children of the future and pin it on the tree, join a children’s parade around Te Papa at 1.30 to 1.45pm and 3.00 to 3.15pm, and hear a brass band play the songs of World War I from 1.45 to 1.55pm and 3.15 to 3.25pm

A new half-hour documentary about the 1918 influenza pandemic, followed by a panel discussion, takes place on Saturday from 2.00 to 3.30pm in Soundings Theatre on Level 2 of Te Papa (free admission). Talune: The Ship of Death is a 30-minute documentary directed by Tuki Laumea, looking back 100 years ago to when a quarter of the Sāmoan population died in a preventable influenza epidemic under New Zealand’s watch. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion about the flu’s legacy in New Zealand and Sāmoa – especially its uneven impact on health, society, and culture. The panel includes filmmaker Tuki Laumea, Professor Linda Bryder, historian specialising in the social history of medicine at the University of Auckland, Professor Meihana Durie, Head of School at Te Pūtahi-a-Toi School of Māori Knowledge, Massey University, and will be chaired by Dr Bronwyn Labrum, Head of New Zealand and Pacific Cultures at Te Papa.

The dance performance 1918, written and directed by Tupe Lualua and choreographed by Andy Faiaoga, is inspired by the memories of the director’s grandmother Avea’i Fui, and the research of Dr. John McLane as a response to the devastating influenza pandemic which swept across the globe, and claimed the lives of almost a third Sāmoa’s population and became a catalyst for Sāmoa’s resistance against the New Zealand colonial government. The performamce of 2018 marks the 100-year anniversary since this tragic and pivotal moment in Sāmoa’s history. It’s free on Sunday, at Te Marae, Level 4, Te Papa, from 2.30pm to 3.15pm.

Peter Jackson’s World War 1 documentary They Shall Not Grow Old opens in cinemas on Sunday. It uses cutting-edge technology to enhance and combine archival video and audio and present a soldiers’-eye view of the conflict. The New Zealand censorship office has given the film an RP16 rating (restricted to people 16 years or over, unless accompanied by a parent or guardian), and issued a warning that its “graphic content may disturb”.

The full list of Armistice events is on this page of the ww100.govt.nz website.