Anzac Day is a New Zealand national holiday commemorated on April 25 each year. It is the anniversary of the landing of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps at Gallipoli in Turkey during World War I.
There are legal restrictions that apply to the use of ‘Anzac’ in trade or business under Section 17 of the Flags, Emblems and Names Protection Act 1981. This Act states that, ‘The Governor-General may… prohibit, regulate, or control the use in connection with any business, trade, or occupation of the word ‘Anzac’ or of any other word that so closely resembles the word ‘Anzac’ as to be likely to deceive or mislead any person.’
The Ministry for Culture and Heritage administers the Act and it has produced “Use of the word ‘Anzac’ or ‘ANZAC’ guidelines”. Please note the guidelines are not legal advice, however, they provide useful clarification to assist advertisers. The guidelines say “The intention of the protection of the word ‘Anzac’ is to protect the term from commercialisation and to ensure that the use is not offensive to public sentiment.”
Most applications to use the word ‘Anzac’ in trade or business require the authority of the Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage and the Governor-General. The Ministry is able to provide guidance on whether a particular use is permitted. There are several types of applications where the Ministry has adopted a general policy position, these are:
- the use of the word ‘Anzac’ in relation to a biscuit provided that the product conforms to the general recipes and shape traditionally known as an ‘Anzac biscuit’. This does not apply to products such as cookies, slices, loaves or muesli bars.
- the use of the words ‘Anzac Day’ in connection with an event held on 25 April itself or on preceding or consecutive days including 25 April. For example, a business may hold an ‘Anzac Day Sale’. However it would be an offence to have an ‘Anzac Sale’.
- the use of the word ‘Anzac’, or a word resembling it, in the name of a street, road or park containing or near a WW1 or WW2 war memorial.
- the use of the word ‘Anzac’ is also generally not in breach of the Act where it is used in the name of a business located on a road, street or avenue that includes the word ‘Anzac’, provided that the full name of that road, street or avenue is included, for example Anzac Avenue Supermarket.
Penalty for unauthorised use
Use of the word ‘Anzac’ in breach of the Flags, Emblems and Names Protection Act 1981 is an offence if it does not have the approval of the Governor-General. Every person who commits an offence against the Act is liable, in the case of an individual, to a fine of $5,000. In the case of a body corporate, $50,000 and where the offence is a continuing one, a further fine not exceeding $5,000 for every day during which the offence has continued.
If you have any queries about the guidelines, please contact the Ministry for Culture and Heritage by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or telephone (04) 499 4229.