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Commemorating Anzac Day

Published: 19 April 2021

Auckland Council is proud to partner with the Auckland RSA to deliver Auckland’s 2021 Anzac Day. Below are all the details you need to honour our veterans and armed forces this Sunday.

Anzac Day is always a special time of remembering and honouring those men and women from Tāmaki Makaurau who served in our military.

This year’s theme is Service and Sacrifice, with a particular focus on saluting the women past and present who have served in the military.

2021 sees two significant anniversaries for New Zealand veterans.

The first is the 80th anniversary of the formation of the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF). Formed on 16 January 1941, the purpose was to enable the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) to release more men to serve overseas. The WAAF played a very important role in New Zealand during World War II by easing personnel shortages and saw approximately 4750 Kiwi women serve.

This year is also the 75th anniversary of the Jayforce landing in Japan to participate in the demilitarisation and demobilisation of Japan and the repatriation of Japanese returnees. More than 12,000 New Zealand troops served in Jayforce in the years immediately following the Japanese surrender.

Local Parades and Civic Services

Parades and services return to the fore this year.

Auckland Council, in partnership with the Auckland RSA and community groups, are providing over 80 parades and civic services across the Tāmaki Makaurau region.

These provide opportunities for us all to remember and pay tribute to our soldiers who served and died for their country during war, while also honouring returned and current servicemen and women.

With so many different services available, there is plenty of opportunity to stay local and commemorate with friends, family and your community.

To find your local parade and service head to the Anzac Day page on OurAuckland where details for the different services are available.

Commemorate at home

After the success of last year’s #StandAtDawn, people who are unable to attend their local parade and service can still commemorate at home.

In the lead up to Anzac Day, why not decorate your letterbox or front window. It could be as simple as a single poppy or make it as ornate as you wish.

To help with your decorating, download the Auckland Council Anzac Day poppy stencil, colour it in and place it on your letterbox or in your front window.

Click here to download the stencil [PDF]

It is a great school holiday activity for anyone with kids.

To share an image of your Anzac creation on Instagram: #AKLAnzac

Field of Remembrance

A Field of Remembrance has been erected for Poppy Day this year and will remain in place until 3 May.

Positioned on the slopes of the Auckland Domain in front of the Cenotaph and Auckland War Memorial Museum, crosses have been laid out to remember New Zealand military personnel, both men and women who have died in service of their country.

Of the crosses laid out, 170 honour servicemen and women who died on active service overseas in the last 120 years, during the South African War of 1899–1902, World War I and II, and conflicts since the end of WWII through to the Afghanistan deployment which ends next month.

One single cross will honour the 3000 men and women who died on all sides of the New Zealand Wars from 1845 to 1872.

Finally, three additional crosses have been added to honour those who have died outside of active service. Some from cancers or injuries sustained in their military service, some in car accidents, while others were killed in training accidents.

It is a truly moving site and a great opportunity to reflect on the sacrifice of servicemen and women both past and present.

Lighting up in honour of Anzac Day

Vector Lights for Anzac Day is a 5-minute Anzac-inspired show that will be displayed on the harbour bridge 6pm-midnight on April 23-26 to commemorate Anzac Day.

Additionally, on the morning of the 25 April at 5am the show will play to coincide with dawn services.

The Light Path will light up on those evenings also, as will the new Quay Street decorative lights and the Sky Tower.

Auckland War Memorial Museum will shine in a uniform display of red light from dusk to dawn on Friday 23 until Monday 26 April as a commemorative tribute to this important day.

This year Eden Park will be joining the four landmarks and light up in unison during the weekend of Anzac Day, in memory of our New Zealand veterans.

COVID-19 precautions

With the COVID-19 Alert System at Level 1, there are a few things we can all do to ensure we stay safe. If you plan on attending a parade and service on Anzac Day, please check-in using the COVID-19 Tracer App. A quick manual entry with the location, time and a description of the Anzac Day service will help.

If you are feeling unwell, please stay at home and commemorate Anzac Day there.

If you plan on using public transport to get to a parade or service, please remember that it is a legal requirement to wear a face mask on public transport and in taxis and rideshares.