The seldom-heard second verse of New Zealand's national anthem will be sung proudly during tomorrow's national remembrance service for the victims of the Christchurch mosque attacks.

Kiwis who may have forgotten the anthem's second verse even existed probably aren't alone.

Singers at most sporting and national events usually only belt out the first verse: once in Māori and once in English.

However, organisers of tomorrow's service in Christchurch's Hagley Park have asked soul artist Maisey Rika to include the second verse when she sings the anthem because of its poignant call for people of "every creed and race" to unite against "dissension, envy and hate".


A Christchurch City Council spokeswoman said the verse was being sung because of "the singificance and meaning of its words".

It runs like this:

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.

The anthem will follow opening addresses by dignitaries, a Muslim invocation, known as a Du'a, and a performance by British singer Yusuf Islam, also known as Cat Stevens.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will be joined at the service by dignitaries from 59 countries.

The National Remembrance Service is being held in Hagley Park in Christchurch and will start at 10am. Photo / Vincent Thiank
The National Remembrance Service is being held in Hagley Park in Christchurch and will start at 10am. Photo / Vincent Thiank

Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove and Opposition leader Bill Shorten are attending as are a number of Pacific leaders.

This includes the President of Fiji Jioji Konrote, the Samoan Head of State Va'aletoa Sualauvi II, President of French Polynesia Édouard Fritch, Cook Islands Prime Minister Heny Puna and Ulu of Tokolau Afega Gaualofa.

The Organisation of Islamic Co-operation and the UNHCR are also sending representatives.


"We are very grateful for the international community's support and messages of solidarity which highlights the significance of this tragedy for so many people and countries ," Ardern said today.

As well as dignitaries and Islamic leaders, one of the survivors of the attacks will play a central role in the service.

Farid Ahmed, whose wife Husna Ahmed was killed in Al Noor Mosque, will speak at the Hagley Park service.

Husna had rescued children in the mosque from the gunman but was killed when she returned to find her husband, who was in a wheelchair.

Also scheduled to speak are Muslim leaders Shaggaf Khan and Mustafa Farouk, Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy, and Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel.

New Zealand musicians Marlon Williams, Hollie Smith and Teeks will also perform.

The names of each of the 50 victims of the terrorist attack will be read by members of the Muslim community.

The service will be jointly led by the Government, the City of Christchurch, Ngāi Tahu and the Muslim community.

The live broadcast of the Christchurch remembrance service will start at 10am. It will screen live on