New Zealand! New Zealand!

New Zealand! New Zealand!

Performed by Bel Canto Choir of Burnside High School 2013, produced by Michael Bell at Orange Studio
By David L. Smith
© 2015 David Smith

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”. Why change it? One critic described the current anthems as “A series of requests to a divine being for a handout”.

16 Responses to New Zealand! New Zealand!

  1. Lois Dalton says:

    A beautifully sung rendition of a pretty melody with suitably pretty words, but absolutely not the material for a national anthem. I can already “hear” it being butchered by sports’ teams and reluctant audiences.

  2. Richard Heal says:

    A song beautifully sung by the Bel Canto Choir but definitely not a National Anthem. The National Anthem should have dignity making it appropriate to be sung on such occasions as Anzac Day and other important occasions. I agree with Lois.

    • David L. Smith says:

      The anthem that legislation requires us to sing at ceremonial occasions is still God Save the Queen which is equally quite inappropriate in my view.

  3. Steven Marshall says:

    Could the words be shown on the website too, please?
    Hard for the hard-of-hearing (well, me anyway) to understand the words.
    Thanks

  4. J.Greenaway says:

    Not suitable for a national anthem. To long and not catchy enough.

  5. Rob Sansom says:

    A nice song BUT no way is this National Anthem Material. An anthem has to be strong and stirring, agree that the current one could be a lot better, but then when sung in quick tempo it is.

  6. Rudi van den Brink says:

    Agree with J Greenaway and others.

  7. David L. Smith says:

    I agree with the comments that my song falls short of anthem material which it was not composed to be. It was submitted to the Minister as an example of a more relevant song than the present one. I believe a compromise could be to retain the familiar GDNZ melody with new words. Here is an example of that.
    May New Zealand ever be
    Land of opportunity
    From her mountains to the sea
    Home to you and home to me
    Sing her praises near and far
    Everywhere that Kiwis are
    Tie your fortunes to her star
    Aotearoa

    Thanks for the helpful comments

  8. David L. Smith says:

    In reply to J. Greenaway, this song is far shorter than GDNZ which has five verses, only one of which is normally used, plus a Maori and an English refrain. The duplicated refrain and verse above are not expected to be sung except were it to become New Zealand’s version of “I Call Australia Home” and “Waltzing Matilda”.

  9. Owen Kingston-Smith says:

    A beautiful song by the Burnside High School group, but not quite an anthem. However the alternate words you provide to the existing anthem express our country well, and sung with a bit more vigour than the anthem is currently being presented should be acceptable.

  10. Richard Heal says:

    A National Anthem is an anthem not a song. It is not meant to have a catchy tune or words but something sung with dignity at a reasonable pace. It is not just something sung badly by pop singers at an AB’s match but with pride and honour at ceremonial occasions. By all means write a song which,like Waltzing Matilda, can be sung to express our Kiwi-ness. For this the words above might be a starting point.

  11. Veronica Baker says:

    Sorry this does nothing for me. Have just listened to God Defend New Zealand being sung at the beginning of the Rugby League test. The music is great AND the words are stirring. If ever a country needed an anthem with words like this its now!

    • David L. Smith says:

      I agree that the music should remain. For the words to be stirring, one needs to believe in a God which a majority of New Zealanders no longer do.

      • Richard Heal says:

        Are you sure that people do not believe in some sort of God/Supreme Being even if it is not the God of the Bible. The words could still have resonance.

        • David L. Smith says:

          Some do Richard, but not many these days believe in a personal God who answers prayers which this song expects and who possesses
          feet and a face such as we do ((Men of every creed and race gather here before thy face). Even religious leaders consider this beseeching hymn “undermines the integrity and function of prayer”- Rev Dr. Redding.

          But the main objection to this song is that it is a “series of requests for a hand out” with no mention whatsoever of the lovely country we live in and other positive inspirational aspects as in “Advance Australia Fair. For a long list of critical comment by well known New Zealanders read Chapter 6 of Max Cryer’s excellent book “Hear Our Voices We Entreat”. Max points out that God has not defended us from strife and wars for the past 170 years since this song was first written so is unlikely to do so in the future. New Zealanders deserve better than that many feel.

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