In New Zealand, celebrations of the bicentenary brought together members of the community from all walks of life to celebrate Bahá’u’lláh's life and teachings.
At a national level, the Prime Minister addressed a letter to the Bahá’í community for the occasion expressing his warm wishes. The Bahá’í community also hosted a gathering for dignitaries and other representatives for the bicentenary.
In local neighbourhoods and towns, friends and families gathered to pray, dance and sing to commemorate the extraordinary days of the bicentenary.
100 people collaborated with a local school to paint colorful murals celebrating diversity that will be displayed during bicentenary celebrations in the community of Avondale, a suburb of Auckland, New Zealand. There were nine panels in all, featuring patterns developed by over 100 students and teachers. The murals include the school’s values and motto and touch on the concepts of kotahitanga (unity), whānau (family), wairua (spirit), and aroha (love).
The Bahá’ís of New Zealand held a reception for dignitaries at one of the country’s most important museums and war memorials, the Auckland War Memorial Museum Tāmaki Paenga Hira. Almost 200 people attended the celebration, including about 60 dignitaries, officials from government and civil society, prominent artists, and members of academia.
An exhibition called "Something is happening here" opened in September 2017 displaying works inspired from the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh. Highlighting the principle of the oneness of humankind, the exhibition represents one of many efforts in New Zealand during this bicentenary period to work for unity and peace.
A poem composed by an 11-year-old youth in New Zealand in honour of the bicentenary
The Writings told of a Manifestation
Who would rise to His great station
Like a sun lifting into the sky
With joy the children would cry
It was an age of wonder
For near and yonder
Many things were told
By young and by old
That day was the king of days
For all of the sun's rays,
were shining upon that spot
that we must forget not
For this was the day of a birth
Now celebrated around the earth
The day we said Alláh’u’Abhá
To the great Manifestation, Bahá’u’lláh
Was the reason of His mission
Peace, love and unity
For the world's immunity
Equality of men and women
Were of teachings we were given
For everyone in every nation
And there is much much more
So come in through the door
And listen to our story
Of great great glory
A group of youth in the Somerfield neighborhood of Christchurch collaborated with individuals knowledgeable in the craft of Tikanga Māori to design a pou — a traditional Māori post. The youth commissioned a local carver who crafted the beam of recycled mātai according to their design, as they read stories from the life of Bahá’u’lláh. The pou was placed beside a native tree being planted by the community during a ceremony as part of the bicentenary commemorations.
Images from a whanau hui, which translates to ‘meeting of families’, held in Auckland in preparation for the bicentenary festivals. A range of artistic workshops were held that gave attendees ideas that they could creatively integrate into their own local celebrations.