This telegram announcing that the United Kingdom had declared war on Germany was received in New Zealand at 11.45 p.m. on the night of 3 September 1939. At that point New Zealand followed suit, and backdated its declaration to the same moment when the United Kingdom had declared war (9.30 p.m. on 3 September). It has sometimes been suggested that New Zealand declared war ahead of the UK, on account of its time zone being 10 and a half hours ahead of British Summer Time – but this is not true. Two days later, 5 September, Prime Minister Michael Joseph Savage formally announced New Zealand's involvement and affirmed that the country would support Britain in his famous phrase, 'Where she goes, we go; where she stands, we stand.'
Sound file from Radio New Zealand Sound Archives Ngā Taonga Kōrero. Any re-use of this audio is a breach of copyright. To request a copy of the recording, contact Sound Archives Ngā Taonga Kōrero (Rt. Hon. Michael Joseph Savage broadcasts to N.Z. outbreak of war. 1939-09-05/Reference number sa-d-00409-01-s01-pm).
Te whakamahi i tēnei tūemi
Archives New Zealand - Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga
Reference: G 5 114 1658/39 1939
This item is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 New Zealand Licence