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Browse the 1966 Encyclopaedia of New Zealand
Graphic: An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand 1966.


This information was published in 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock. It has not been corrected and will not be updated.

Up-to-date information can be found elsewhere in Te Ara.




No role for New Zealand had been decided beforehand, but on the night of 6 August 1914 a note arrived from London that it would be “a great and urgent Imperial service” if New Zealand forces seized Samoa. This was approved next day, and four days later a mixed force of 1,413 men plus six nursing sisters was equipped and ready. On the fifteenth it sailed, picking up 10 more infantrymen, some naval details, and guides and interpreters at Fiji, and on the twenty-ninth it landed unopposed at Apia. Thus the island of Upolu was the first German territory to be occupied in the name of King George V. After eight months a relief force of 358 men took over and by the end of the war another 298 men were supplied to maintain the garrison.