Passchendaele Centenary Speech Competition

WW100 Logo

Who: Year 12s
Where: Wellington
When:  12-13 October 2017
Cost: Free
Deadline: 12 May 2017

What: A speech competition, with the chance speak at the Passchendaele commemorations during the ceremony, and lay a wreath on behalf of the Youth of New Zealand.

Veterans Affairs Logo

12 October 2017 marks the centenary of the Battle of Passchendaele. This important occasion will be marked in New Zealand by a national ceremony at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park in Wellington.

In this centenary year, the WW100 Programme Office is sponsoring a special competition for Year 12 students. The winner of the competition will be invited to participate in the national ceremony, reading out their winning entry during the ceremony, and laying a wreath on behalf of the Youth of New Zealand.


The competition is open to all Year 12 students attending a New Zealand secondary school within New Zealand.

Entries must include verification from the student’s school that the student is enrolled as a Year 12 student. Entrants should also confirm their availability to travel to Wellington on 12-13 October 2017.


Commemorating Passchendaele, Celebrating Compassion

Entries should reflect on the importance of commemorating New Zealand and Belgium’s First World War experiences, as well as the ongoing friendship between both countries since the First World War.


The winner will be invited to participate in the national ceremony marking the centenary of Passchendaele, at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park in Wellington on 12 October 2017.

  • The winner must be accompanied by a responsible adult (aged over 18).
  • Flights and one-night accommodation (if required) will be provided for the winner and accompanying adult, and an evening meal voucher will be provided.
  • The prize also includes a guided tour of the Great War Exhibition, an opportunity to visit Te Papa’s Gallipoli: The scale of our war exhibition, and a limited edition sterling silver Ngā Tapuwae pin.
  • The winner’s school will also receive a copy of each of the current publications in the First World War Centenary Print series, valued at approximately $500.


Entries can be in the form of a poem or prose.

The winner will read their entry at the national ceremony of remembrance, which is attended by senior government representatives and overseas diplomats. Tone and language should therefore be appropriate for a formal ceremony on the national stage, and entrants should be comfortable with public speaking in a formal environment.

Entries should take between 90 and 120 seconds to read aloud at a public-speaking pace (as a rule of thumb this is approximately 250 words max.)

All entries should be submitted in writing. Entries should include a word count.

How to enter

All entries must include:

  • a completed entry form, and
  • verification of enrolment and year level from your school.

Entries must be submitted by 5pm Friday 12 May 2017 to

Apply here: