102 years ago: Prime Minister Sir Joseph Ward announces that New Zealand will gift a ‘first-class battleship’ to the Royal Navy (22 March 1909). Prime Minister Ward was positioning New Zealand as a loyal and active participant in the defence of the British Empire. This was a time of increasing navalRead more

One hundred years ago, Britain’s Royal Navy was threatened by the modern fleet being built by Germany. In March 1909, the New Zealand Premier, Sir Joseph Ward, responded to the defence crisis by promising that New Zealand would underwrite a ship for the Royal Navy. He declared: ‘We distant sonsRead more