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A memorial resource for the nation

He Pou Maumahara Pakanga ā-motu

Auckland War Memorial Museum’s Online Cenotaph is a living memorial to those who served Aotearoa New Zealand on active service during times of international conflict.

A national initiative, Online Cenotaph is a biographical database that allows researchers, enthusiasts, and veterans and their families to explore, contribute to, and share the records and stories of those who served for Aotearoa New Zealand.

Developed since 1996 Online Cenotaph pulls together information relating to individual service people from a wide range of sources—military and other government records, newspapers, as well as information from families and community groups. Eventually, the database will contain a record for every person who has served for our country on active service.

A record of those who served for Aotearoa New Zealand

He tikanga whakapūmau maumahara mo Aotearoa

Online Cenotaph primarily focuses on the people who served in Armed and ancillary support services in wars in which New Zealand had official involvement, up to our involvement in Afghanistan.

My Grandfather, Kakepare Tariu is sitting at the front with the bugle on his lap. His brother Okore Tariu is right 2nd 3rd row from the front.

My Grandfather, Kakepare Tariu is sitting at the front with the bugle on his lap. His brother Okore Tariu is right 2nd 3rd row from the front.

Image kindly provided by Ukarau Francis, 23 April 2015. No known copyright restrictions.

Your place for stories and commemoration

He wāhi tuku iho a ngā kōrero Maumahara Pakanga

Anyone can share their knowledge of a service person's life by contributing directly to that person's page. Online Cenotaph encourages the contribution of information, documents and photos, as well as personal stories that portray the experiences of New Zealand service personnel. We are very keen for service people to add their own information as well.


To be included in Online Cenotaph, a service person must have served with New Zealand Forces on active service, or either born in New Zealand or spent a significant amount of time in New Zealand before serving with overseas forces. They must have served in a recognised war, conflict, or operational service, for which they were eligible for medallic recognition. You can find a list of Qualifying Operational Service from Veteran' Affairs, here. 

As of 2021 this policy includes the expanded coverage for the New Zealand Operational Service Medal (NZOSM) for service in South East Asia, from 1 February 1959 to 31 January 1974. 

You can read more about our Collection Policy here.