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  'God defend New Zealand' was sung by Hayley Westenra before the England versus All Blacks test at Twickenha in Noveber ! #$ 'God save the %ueen'& our other national anthe& was also sung& and the faous haka 'a ate' was (erfored by the All Blacks$ Our song? New Zealand )usic )onth would not be co(lete without looking at a song that doesn*t get assive (rootion on the radio$ +t is not one that usic video directors are dying to get their hands on$ +t does not feature on any lists of the greatest New Zealand songs ever& even though we have sung it for over ,- years$ While its tune is instantly recognisable to every New Zealander& any can*t sing the words (ro(erly$ +t is our national anthe& .God defend New Zealand*$ New Zealanders have becoe accustoed to hearing this anthe before a/or s(orting events such as All Black tests$ But any ay not know that .God defend New Zealand* is one of two official anthes$ The second& .God save the %ueen*& reflects our colonial (ast$ .God defend New Zealand* was elevated to anthe status in ,011 and has becoe the (referred anthe for New Zealanders both at hoe and abroad$ .God save the %ueen* is usually reserved for foral cereonies involving the %ueen& the Governor2General or the royal faily$ Aotearoa The custo in recent years has been for .God defend New Zealand* 3titled 'Aotearoa' in )aori4 to be sung in both )aori and English& to acknowledge our bicultural heritage$ But this is a relatively new develo(ent$ Thoas Bracken*s (oe& .God defend New Zealand*& was (ut to usic in ,51# by 6$6$ Woods fro 7awrence& 8entral 9tago$ The first )aori translation was ade in ,515 by Native 7and 8ourt /udge Thoas H$ :ith& at the re;uest of Governor :ir George Grey$ <es(ite this& until the closing decades of the ! th century ost New Zealanders were failiar only with the English2language version$ This situation changed draatically at the ,000 =ugby World 8u( in England$ Hinewehi )ohi sang .God defend New Zealand* only in te reo )aori 3'Aotearaoa'4 before the All Blacks versus England atch$ )any viewers co(lained that this was ina((ro(riate because ost New Zealanders did not s(eak 3or understand4 )aori$ )ohi*s res(onse was that it seeed a (erfectly natural thing to do$ 9thers (ointed out that any New Zealanders couldn*t sing the English version correctly anyway$ The incident s(arked (ublic debate about how (eo(le reacted tothe singing of the anthe in general$ The All Blacks& because of their high (rofile& were singled out for (articular attention and were criticised for being unable 3or unwilling4 to sing the anthe$ :u((ort soon grew for the singing of .God defend New Zealand* in both )aori and English$ A ca(aign su((orted by governent& the )aori 7anguage 8oission and s(orting bodies (rooted the correct singing of the anthe  with word sheets and (ublicity$ There is now wides(read su((ort for the )aori and English versions being sung side by side$ One factor in the success of the bicultural approach is that it has helped breathe new life into ‘God defend New Zealand’ by giving it a uniquely New Zealand sound. Still going strong >or all the criticis that it is too foral and like a hyn& .God defend New Zealand* has stood the test of tie$ +ts critics have been unable to coe u( with a credible alternative$ 6i Anderton*s calls to re(lace it with .?okarekare ana* got no real traction$ <es(ite the (rootion of alternative anthes such as <ave <obbyn*s .7oyal* & no suitable re(laceent has ever eerged$ We could be ubling the words to .God defend New Zealand* for any years yet$
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