Zealandia (personification)

A statue of Zealandia as a First World War memorial in Palmerston, New Zealand.

Zealandia is a national personification of New Zealand. In her stereotypical form, Zealandia appears as a woman of European descent who is similar in dress and appearance to Britannia, who is said to be the mother of Zealandia.[1]

Zealandia appeared on postage stamps, posters, cartoons, war memorials, and New Zealand government publications most commonly during the first half of the 20th century. Zealandia was a commonly used symbol of the New Zealand Centennial Exhibition, which was held in Wellington in 1939 and 1940. Three large Zealandia statues exist in New Zealand towns or cities; one is in Waimate, one is in Palmerston, and one in Symonds Street, Auckland. The first two (in stone) are Second Boer War memorials and the latter one (in bronze) is a New Zealand Wars memorial. Some smaller statues exist in museums and in private hands.

The woman who appears on the left side of the coat of arms of New Zealand is Zealandia.[1][2] Apart from the coat of arms, Zealandia is seldom depicted in works today, or indeed referred to.[3]


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