Members of the National Youth Choir have been assisted by paramedics at the Anzac Day National Service as the sun beams down on Pukeahu National War Memorial Park in Wellington.
Military veterans, serving personnel and the public gathered across New Zealand today at dawn services to commemorate Anzac Day.
Today marks the return of large-scale memorial events across the country after the Covid-19 pandemic saw successive years of restrictions surrounding public gatherings and parades.
The national anniversary remembering the landing of Australian and New Zealand soldiers – the Anzacs – on the Gallipoli Peninsula in 1915 was marked in services from first light on a cold autumn morning.
The surprisingly sunny day in Wellington has proven too much for some participants of the Anzac Day National Service.
Paramedics tended to a number of members of the youth choir who appeared to be overcome by the heat.
The New Zealand Defence Force said personnel would be marking Anzac Day both at home and abroad, paying tribute to those who have gone before and thanking those still making huge efforts for a better world.
Thousands of people gathered at the central Auckland Anzac Dawn Service at the Auckland Domain.
The parade began at 5.50am with the march by war veterans onto the Cenotaph in front of the Auckland War Memorial Museum.
The dawn service began at 6am at the Court of Honour.
A number of community services took place in suburbs across the city throughout the morning.
At the other end of the island a dawn service took place at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park.
The Wellington Citizen’s Wreath Laying Service will follow at 9am at the Wellington Cenotaph.
Acting Chief of Defence Force Air Vice-Marshal Tony Davies, who is taking part in the Dawn Service and National Commemoration at Pukeahu National War Memorial in Wellington, said Anzac Day was a time to reflect on the past, while also thinking about those currently serving.
“Although Anzac Day has its origin in the First World War, we now remember the service and sacrifice of all personnel who have served in New Zealand’s interests, as well as the sacrifices made by their whānau.
“The First World War was widely seen in New Zealand and elsewhere as the ‘war to end all wars’. But as we all know it was not and our world is still ravaged, in Ukraine and elsewhere, by war and conflict.
“Today let us all think about the continuing need to stand up to those who have no regard for human rights or international law. We should also consider what we can all do in the ongoing struggle for a better, peaceful world.”
He said a number of NZDF personnel were overseas for Anzac Day this year including a contingent in Gallipoli and those on active service connected to global flashpoints.
The contingent deployed to the UK to train Ukrainian soldiers would congregate during a training exercise to conduct an Anzac Day Dawn Service, paying their respects to their forebears, he said
MetService said temperatures were likely to be in single digits for most places, with frosts even likley for some. It advised those planning on attending a dawn service to wrap up warm.
Apart from the chilly start, MetService the weather would be mainly fine in the North Island throughout the day, apart from a few isolated showers north of Kapiti.