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100 years on Anzac Day honours New Zealand soldiers for their bravery and sacrifice

Published: 13 April 2017

Thousands of miles from home, muddied, bloodied, bogged down in makeshift trenches, the cries of soldiers fighting and dying for family, friends and country.

It was experienced by thousands upon thousands of brave New Zealand soldiers. It has borne moments of desperation, courage and loss and this Anzac Day, Aucklanders can gather to remember those who have served and died for New Zealand in all wars and conflicts at more than 70 Anzac Day commemorations and parades across the region.

This year marks the 100-year anniversary of the Western Front where 2,000 New Zealanders lost their lives and a further 10,000 were wounded in the battles for Messines and Passchendaele.

“Anzac Day is the time when we all remember those New Zealanders who have laid down their lives for their country and their friends. And for those of us who have never had to experience the trauma of fighting a war, we remember with gratitude those who have suffered and died for our peaceful lives now,” says Mayor Phil Goff.

New Zealand sent more men to fight in the First World War per head of population than any other nation. Of those killed, almost a third are buried on the other side of the world in unmarked graves.

“We are a small nation and with nearly 100,000 young New Zealanders serving in World War I, it meant almost every Kiwi family was impacted in some way. Our nation felt the loss of its soldiers deeply.

“It is important we continue to come together as a community to honour all New Zealanders who have served, fought and sacrificed their lives for our country. We remember them and honour their sacrifice through our commitment to create a more peaceful future,” says Mayor Goff. 

For those unable to attend an Anzac Day event, the Dawn Service in front of Auckland War Memorial Museum will be broadcast live on Māori Television from 5.50am.

The museum is open immediately following the Dawn Service at 6.00am with free entry to all Anzac-related events. See the full programme at www.aucklandmuseum.com.

Auckland Council aims to make the Dawn Service at Auckland Domain accessible for as many people as possible. Audio-description will be provided via headsets and a sign language interpreter will be visible on the Court of Honour, on screens and at home on Māori Television.

For event details, including parade assembly, service start times and road closure information, visit ourauckland.nz/anzacday  For public transport information, visit at.govt.nz.

ENDS

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Notes to Editors:

Auckland Domain Events - accessibility information:

  • An audio description and braille programme for blind and low vision people will be provided for the Dawn Service. Bookings are essential and must be received by 4pm Monday 17 April. Please email Nicola at audiodescribedaotearoa@gmail.com or phone 021 035 8513. 
  • Both the Dawn and Civic services at the Auckland Domain will be sign language interpreted.
  • Special transport for the Dawn Service at the Domain is provided – see at.govt.nz/events for details. 
  • The Court of Honour is the consecrated ground surrounding the Cenotaph at the north end of the Auckland War Memorial Museum, sacred to the memory of New Zealand’s fallen service men and women. This paved area is defined by a low wall and heritage lighting fixtures, and marked by four bronze signs marked ‘Consecrated Ground’.