Go green and celebrate sharedhistory
It’s the day the world goes green, and on St Patrick’s Day New Zealand has its own reasons to shamrock n’roll on Ireland’s national day.
Ireland and New Zealand, two small island nations at the opposite ends of the Earth, share much history.
The waves of immigrants who left Ireland’s shores in the mid and late 19th century have made a lasting impact on Aotearoa, both culturally and economically.
Our national anthem God Defend New Zealand was written by Monaghan-born Thomas Bracken. The Treaty of Waitangi was signed on behalf of the Crown by Waterford-born William Hobson, and the captain of the Original All Blacks, Dave Gallaher, came from County Donegal.
And for 12 years, New Zealand was split into three provinces called New Ulster (North Island), New Munster (South Island) and New Leinster (Stewart Island).
Around one in every six New Zealanders claims Irish descent and this country continues to be a favoured destination for Irish immigrants in the 21st century.
Today, New Zealand and Ireland have close co-operation on trade, foreign policy issues such as climate change, disarmament and human rights and each country looks to each other on ways to preserve their native languages.
And so as St Patrick’s Day is celebrated throughout the world, in New Zealand, the day is marked by communities around the country.
Events to mark Ireland’s day include the biggest St Patrick’s parade in the Southern Hemisphere in Ponsonby as well as a fundraising ball in aid of Mercy Hospice and the New Zealand Gaelic Games championship finals. Memorial Museum, Eden Park and the Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington.
For more information check out stpatrick.co.nz or look up your local Irish society or ask on Neighbourly.co.nz for more details on events in your area.
The St Patrick’s parade in Ponsonby is the biggest in the Southern Hemisphere.