Several events set up to watch the National Remembrance Service for the victims of the Christchurch terrorist attack are being cancelled due to stretched police resources.

Events in Southland, Waikato and the Far North have been cancelled following advice from police.

Gore District Mayor Tracy Hicks said he "regretfully" had to cancel an event at the St James Theatre "on the advice of police".

"We have been working with Police on this event, however, today we have been advised that nationally, rural areas are being asked to consider cancelling any public events relating to the National Remembrance Service."


The reason for the request was that police resources throughout the country have been and continue to be stretched, Hicks said.

Queenstown Lakes District Council communications advisor Campbell Weal also confirmed planned public live streams in Queenstown and Wanaka had been cancelled.

"The council had scheduled to enable the community to come together in two locations across the district but has since decided that the heightened security required for these events would be challenging not only for the local community and our visitors, but for the council and our local police,'' he said.

The live streaming was available on TVNZ and Radio New Zealand, which made the decision "somewhat easier to bear''.

"We encourage our community to join with family, friends and colleagues to tune into the service in their place of work, at home or wherever they find themselves at 10am tomorrow. We apologise if anyone is disappointed by this decision but ultimately we agree that public safety is our collective priority.''

The cancellations come after Waikato District Council announced yesterday that it also had to cancel an event at Turangawaewae Marae to watch the service.

"It is with regret that we have called off the event we were planning to hold on Friday," Mayor Allan Sanson said.

"We have taken advice from police and the bottom line is that the security efforts required from many parties to hold an event like this at this time are too high."


The live broadcast of the National Remembrance Service being held in Hagley Park in Christchurch will start at 10am. It will screen live on

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern waves as she leaves Friday prayers at Hagley Park on March 22. Photo / Vincent Thian
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern waves as she leaves Friday prayers at Hagley Park on March 22. Photo / Vincent Thian

Sanson encouraged people to gather in their homes and workplaces to watch it.

The service is jointly led by the Government, the City of Christchurch, Ngāi Tahu and the Muslim community.

Despite rural events being cancelled, large viewings will take place in Wellington, Auckland, and Hamilton.

A livestream of the National Remembrance Service will be held at Waitangi Park, on Wellington's waterfront from 9.30am.

The service will be opened by the Wellington Orchestra with the Pacifica Choir. There will be a prayer and Mayor Justin Lester will speak before the broadcast starts.

Eden Park will host Auckland's Remembrance for Christchurch service on Friday afternoon. In conjunction with the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand, Together - Auckland's Remembrance for Christchurch will kick off at 2.15pm.

The National Remembrance Service is being held in Hagley Park in Christchurch and will start at 10am. Photo / Vincent Thian
The National Remembrance Service is being held in Hagley Park in Christchurch and will start at 10am. Photo / Vincent Thian

In Hamilton, the event will be livestreamed at Claudelands Arena. Mayor Andrew King and other dignitaries will make brief speeches before the livestream commences at 10am.

Tauranga City and Western Bay of Plenty District councils welcome people to join them at Trustpower Baypark Arena to watch the memorial service.

Rotorua Lakes Council has confirmed it will livestream the service on a big screen at Te Aka Mauri Children's Health Hub and Library.

Palmerston North City Council is livestreaming the service in the events quadrant of the Square.

It will also be livestreamed at the McLauchlan Family Auditorium in the ASB Theatre, in Blenheim. Doors will open at 9am and attendees are asked to be seated by 9.45am.

Whanganui District Council will livestream at the Davis Lecture Theatre, Whanganui Regional Museum. There will be a short address from councillor Josh Chandulal-Mackay, members of the local Muslim community and iwi leaders. The livestream will take place from 10am to 11am.

The Far North District Council has cancelled six of seven remembrance services it had planned to host tomorrow for the victims of the Christchurch shootings on March 15.

The only one to proceed would be at Kerikeri's Turner Centre, starting at 9.15am.

Mayor John Carter said events planned for Te Ahu Centre in Kaitaia, Council Chambers in Kaikohe, St John's Hall in Kawakawa, Christ Church Parish Hall in Russell, South Hokianga War Memorial Hall in Opononi, and Broadwood Area School had been cancelled on police advice.

Dunedin will show live coverage on big screens at the Dunedin Town Hall between 10am and 11am. The main entrance of the Dunedin Town Hall will open to the public at 8.30am.

The Dunedin event will include speeches from Minister of Health Dr David Clark, Otago Muslim Association Chairman Mohammed Rizwan, Mayor of Dunedin Dave Cull, Otago Regional Council Chairman Stephen Woodhead and Dunedin South MP Clare Curran.