Story: New Zealand identity

Waimate South African War memorial

Waimate South African War memorial

The memorial in Waimate to the South African War features the figure of Zealandia, a symbol of New Zealand which emerged at the end of the 19th century. Zealandia was the daughter of Britannia. This nationalistic symbol was considered appropriate because involvement in the war was seen as demonstrating New Zealand's important contribution to the British Empire. The inscription reads: 'In commemoration of the South African War in which New Zealand represented by her 6500 volunteers for the first time took part in the battles of the Empire and assisted to maintain the prestige of the British flag.' Only at the bottom of the pedestal does the inscription 'also' honour a local soldier, Trooper Arthur Whitney, who had died in the conflict.

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Private collection
Photograph by Jock Phillips and Chris Maclean

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How to cite this page:

Fiona Barker, 'New Zealand identity - War and sport', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 14 July 2024)

Story by Fiona Barker, published 20 Jun 2012