Woodville turned on a glorious day last Saturday for the 1st Battalion of the Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment to renew and celebrate their Tararua charter of freedom.

"Holding the freedom charter is a privilege and not something bestowed lightly," Defence Minister Ron Mark, said.

"The 1st Battalion is steeped in glory and sacrifice and it's no surprise the Tararua District Council seized the opportunity to claim the 1st Battalion as their own."

1st Battalion Commanding Officer Lt Colonel Anthony Childs, left, accompanies Minister of Defence Ron Mark and Tararua District mayor Tracey Collis, past the regimental flag bearers.
1st Battalion Commanding Officer Lt Colonel Anthony Childs, left, accompanies Minister of Defence Ron Mark and Tararua District mayor Tracey Collis, past the regimental flag bearers.

Mark said he and Labour List MP Kieran McAnulty, who also attended the parade, recognised our defence forces can't do what they do without the support of their communities.

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"This community has a solid core which stands behind this battalion and they in turn are there through thick and thin," Mark said.

"By bestowing this honour by the people of Tararua they are claiming you as their own out of pride, history, in recent times and for what the future holds.

"This is a pretty awesome parade."

Minister of Defence, Ron Mark, left, with Tararua District mayor Tracey Collis and Lt Colonel Anthony Childs, inspect the troops of the 1st Battalion in Woodville, as part of the charter parade.
Minister of Defence, Ron Mark, left, with Tararua District mayor Tracey Collis and Lt Colonel Anthony Childs, inspect the troops of the 1st Battalion in Woodville, as part of the charter parade.

Tararua District Mayor Tracey Collis said our district was very proud of the battalion.

"We are very fortunate to have the 1st Battalion at our side," she said.

"This unit has an impressive list of battle honours and the Battalion is welcome to share our home always, you are a very special part of our Tararua family."

As the crowds lined Woodville's Vogel St, they were impressed by the pomp and pageantry which is the charter parade, with Tararua District Council's chief executive, Blair King, reading the charter which allows the 1st Battalion to march with drums beating, colours flying, bayonets fixed and swords drawn, through the streets of Tararua.

"This is fantastic, something really worth seeing," one onlooker said.

The 1st Battalion regimental drummers make their way up Vogel St as the parade concludes.
The 1st Battalion regimental drummers make their way up Vogel St as the parade concludes.