WW100 – New Zealand's First World War Centenary Programme ran from 2014 to 2019

Please note this site has been archived


World War I through place names

The New Zealand Geographic Board’s project to research and collect the stories behind New Zealand’s First World War place names.

Sergeant Major Hubert Earle Girdlestone - [Archives Reference: ABWN 23196 W5480 3/58 17] Archives New Zealand, The Department of Internal Affairs Te Tari Taiwhenua

New Zealand’s experience at home and abroad during the First World War left an indelible impression on the country’s collective consciousness, and significantly influenced the development of our national identity.
Over the past century New Zealanders have ensured that the memories of that time are not forgotten, commemorating those sacrifices through memorials and events the length and breadth of the country.
This has included naming places after people and events associated with the First World War.
Place names are an important part of who we are – important landmarks of the history, culture and identity of our nation and the communities within it.
To mark the centenary of the First World War, the New Zealand Geographic Board Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa (NZGB) have embarked on a project to publish the stories for 30 WW1 place names, and approve 16 of these place names as official.
A further First World War place name Passchendaele Ridge was put out for public consultation for one month.

Contact us
The public is invited to participate in this project by letting the NZGB know of any other existing First World War place names it may have missed. The NZGB will then research and consider making official any other existing First World War names received from the public. To contact the NZGB, please email us or write to the Secretary of the New Zealand Geographic Board, c/o Land Information New Zealand, PO Box 5501, Wellington 6145.
Visit the Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) website for information about these names and place naming in general.
Images below from Archives New Zealand - Te Rua Mahara O te Kāwanatanga (CC-BY-SA 2.0), New Zealand Defence Force - Te Ope Kaatua o Aotearoa (CC-BY 2.0). From State Library of Victoria, out of copyright.

Click on the image to view full size
R24457576: Anzac Peaks and the Caroline Icefall as seen from Elworthy's Run. Mount Cook, Canterbury. Photographer Mr. Woods, Sept 1950. Archives New Zealand Te Rua Mahara O te Kāwanatanga.
H91.108/1330: HMS Pyramus. Photographer Allan C. Green, 1914. State Library of Victoria.
ACHK 16598 G432: Telegram announcing 1918 Armistice. Archives New Zealand Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga.
Ataturk Memorial Wreath Laying Ceremony, ANZAC Day, Wellington. Photo New Zealand Defence Force Te Ope Kaatua o Aotearoa.
This activity is being worked on from
28 May 2015
11 November 2018
Date added: 27 May 2015 | Last updated: 17 February 2017
| Contact:
Wendy Shaw (NZGB Secretary), Christopher Stephens (NZGB Advisor)
| Email: