For King & Country

For King & Country: New Zealand's First World War on Film is a 70-minute film programme available to loan for screenings, covering New Zealand’s experience of the war. Excerpts from 38 films, and a variety of still images, are included, from the collections of Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision and other archives in New Zealand, Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom.

R. Hayward home movie, 1916

The programme is presented thematically and covers the history of filmmaking in New Zealand, and life prior to the war. It shows soldiers training and departing as well as shipboard life. There is footage of NZEF soldiers in Egypt, Gallipoli, Europe and the Middle East, and scenes showing the work of the medical corps. There are also rare glimpses of life at the home front in New Zealand, including the first conscription ballot, fundraising activities, and an intimate home movie. It finishes with activities surrounding the armistice in the UK and New Zealand, the return home of the Māori contingent, and the unveiling of the Messines Ridge memorial in Belgium, in 1924.

Films made during this time were all silent; however, they were never presented silently. They were usually accompanied by a narrator and a pianist, or even an orchestra. To match the spirit of the time we have recorded a commentary by renowned historian Dr Chris Pugsley, ONZM, to explain what is happening in the films. A Te Reo version of the commentary is available as well. We have also commissioned a contemporary soundtrack by Iain Gordon of Fat Freddy's Drop to re-create the cinema-going experience, with a modern twist.

This programme was made possible with funding from the Lottery World War One Commemorations, Environment and Heritage Committee.

Loan info

Ballot at the Government Statistician's Office (1916)

Who can borrow For King & Country?

Educational institutions, arts and cultural organisations, libraries, community groups, and film societies situated within Aotearoa New Zealand. Note: the programme cannot be loaned to individuals for private use or home screenings.

How much does it cost?

A grant from the Lottery World War One Commemorations, Environment and Heritage Committee has enabled Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision to make For King & Country available for groups to loan at no cost (except return postage).

Can I charge people to see this or run it as a fundraiser for our group?

We accept that you may need to apply a small admission charge to cover the costs of the screening, however the programme is not available for fundraising or profit-making activities.

What will I need to screen this programme?

The programme is available as a DVD or a DCP file. You will need a screen, projector, and DVD or DCP player. Other formats can be produced on request. Please get in touch with us to discuss this.

How long can I keep the programme for?

To ensure maximum availability for all borrowers the normal loan period allows for one screening only, please indicate if you would like to host more than one screening and we will do our best to accommodate your request.

Request to loan For King & Country

To request to loan the For King & Country programme please:

a. Contact us


b. Print and fill out this loan form and post it to us at:

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision,
PO Box 11 449,
Wellington 6142

Work of the NZ Medical Corps (1917)

Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions.

Note: Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision reserves the right to decline loan requests at its discretion.

Please fill in the loan request form in its entirety, failure to answer all of the questions may delay your request, and could result in a decline.

Information gathered will be kept confidential, and is for the purposes of evaluating your request only.

More Information About the Programme

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