David SmithWelcome to my site. 

**Update 5 November 2014** This site still carries my song “New Zealand! New Zealand!” as an example of a suitable replacement for God Defend New Zealand”. The below comments have convinced me that a total change will be very unlikely to succeed. Hence my new words to the existing tune, once again beautifully sung by the award winning Burnside High School Girls Choir, and entitled “New Zealand Pride”.***

For many years now, I personally have taken a strong dislike to our two official national anthems, “God Save The Queen” and “God Defend New Zealand”. Criticising them is one thing. Coming up with a suitable alternative is much harder. My song, New Zealand, New Zealand is the last in a long line of attempts I have made to compose a more suitable offering which surprisingly found favour with 50% of readers of the Christchurch Mail who responded to an article featuring it in 2012.

Why change it? One critic described it as “A series of requests to a divine being for a handout”. Joe Bennett, a popular columnist, proposed replacing it with “two minutes’ silence”. Furthermore, it says nothing whatsoever about our country, its people or how we justify a God of 170 nations granting special favours to us ahead of the other 169. The fact that it discriminates against at least a third
of New Zealanders who ticked “no religion” in a recent census is perhaps the most compelling reason of all.

Be that as it may, how in the 21st century to compose a song that will satisfy the disparate preferences of today’s music lovers? What I have tried to do is to keep it as simple and easy to sing as possible in a reasonably formal style. In particular I have tried to describe our country’s well known natural beauty in just a few words and the loyalty of its adventurous “Kiwi” citizens in a few more. The choice of that word may sound a bit too colloquial for some, but that is how we are affectionately known the world over.

So that’s my contribution to the problem. And how fortunate I am to have had it performed so brilliantly by the award winning Burnside High School girls’ Bel Canto choir.

Thanks for coming.