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1876年に、Thomas Bracken の 「God Defend New Zealand」 に付ける曲を一般募集し、John Joseph Woods の曲が採用された。その後、George Grey 総督の要請により、1878年に最初のマオリ語訳ができた。1940年に、New Zealand 建国100周年記念委員会の推薦により、英国国歌「God Save The Queen」が国歌として宣言され、1977年まで継続したが、同年に英国女王陛下の承認により、「God Defend New Zealand」が国歌になった。

「マオリ語」

E Ihowa Atua, O nga iwi matoua  Ata whakarongona; Me aroha noa Kia hua ko te pai; Kia tau to atawhai; Manaakitia mai Aotearoa

Ona mano tangata Kiri whero, kiri ma, Iwi Maori Pakeha, Repeke katoa, Nei ka tono ko nga he Mau e whakaahu ke, Kia ora marire Aotearoa

Tona mana kia tu! Tona kaha kia u; Tona rongo hei paku Ki te ao katoa Aua rawa nga whawhai Nga tutu a tata mai; Kia tupu nui ai Aotearoa

Waiha tona takiwa Ko te ao marama; Kia whiti to na ra Taia whio noa. Ko te hae me te ngangau Meinga kia kore kau; Waiho i te rongo mau Aotearoa

Tona pai me toitu Tika rawa, ponu pu; Tona noho, tana tu; Iwi no Ihowa. Kaua mona whakama; Kia hau te ingoa; Kia tu hei tauira; Aotearoa


「英語」

God of Nations! at Thy feet, In the bonds of love we meet, Hear our voices we entreat, God defend our free land. Guard Pacific's triple star
From the shafts of strife and war, Make her praises heard afar, God defend New Zealand.

Men of every creed and race, Gather here before Thy face, Asking Thee to bless this place, God defend our free land From dissension, envy, hate,
And corruption guard our State. Make our country good and great, God defend New Zealand.

Peace, not war, shall be our boast, But, should foes assail our coast, Make us then a mighty host, God defend our free land Lord of battles, in Thy might,
Put our enemies to flight, Let our cause be just and right, God defend New Zealand.

Let our love for thee increase, May thy blessings never cease, Give us plenty, give us peace, God defend our free land. From dishonour and from shame,
Guard our country's spotless name, Crown her with immortal fame, God defend New Zealand.

May our mountains ever be Freedoms ramparts on the sea, Make us faithful unto Thee, God defend our free land. Guide her in the nations' van,
Preaching love and truth to man, Working out Thy glorious plan, God defend New Zealand.