Honouring our veterans this Anzac Day


Minister for Veterans Meka Whaitiri is encouraging all New Zealanders to find a way to mark Anzac Day this year.

“Anzac Day commemorates all those who have served, and those who continue to do so,” Meka Whaitiri said.

“Today is a day of reflection and no matter where Kiwis may be in the world, I encourage them to pause and acknowledge that service.

“Whether it’s attending a Dawn Service or a parade here in the towns, cities and rural communities of New Zealand, or standing beside fellow Kiwis at Anzac events overseas, we can all take a few minutes to acknowledge lives forever altered by world events.

“There is a personal cost in every global conflict, and together we should unify around those who paid the ultimate price, as well as acknowledging New Zealanders who returned home changed by the mental and physical scars of conflict.

“While the veterans of historic conflicts in Gallipoli and the First World War may no longer be with us, personnel from more recent deployments such as East Timor and Afghanistan continue to serve our nation with pride and we can acknowledge them too.

“It was only recently we saw the professionalism and dedication of the New Zealand Defence Force in the response to Cyclone Gabrielle. Once again our people sprang into action to evacuate, supply and support affected communities. That ongoing service from contemporary personnel is a living reminder of the commitment embodied in Anzac Day.

“It’s vitally important we continue to learn from our past, which is why I find so much inspiration from those who went before, and their stories. At Gallipoli itself, the words of Chaplain Henare Te Wainohu, “Be brave! Be Bold!” now have a physical space at the Maori pah at the site.

“May we remember all those who have served, and those who continue to do so, today and every Anzac Day.

“Ka maumahara tonu tātou ki a rātou. We will remember them,” Meka Whaitiri said.