Armistice Day commemorated around New Zealand

One-hundred years ago today, an armistice was signed that ended four years of vicious fighting during the first World War.

On Sunday, the moment of peace was captured in ceremonies around New Zealand.

By the end of World War I, more than 18,000 Kiwis had been killed and another 41,000 injured.

Today they were remembered with a 100-gun salute on Wellington's waterfront - the last striking on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.

At Pukeahu National War Memorial, it was the moment a crowd of thousands fell silent to remember the dead.

"It marks the end of the most traumatic event in New Zealand history," said New Zealand Defence Force historian John Crawford.

"People just went mad. In Wellington all the ships in the harbour started tooting their horns".

Which is what naval ships in Auckland did today, joining in a roaring chorus that echoed around the country.

The burden of loss was evident in the field of white crosses at Auckland Museum - one for every life lost. Thousands gathered there on Sunday.

Similar crowds in Wellington watched performances that evoked the sound and emotion of the day war gave way to peace.

Almost 100,000 Kiwis served in World War I, nearly one in 10 of the population at the time.