There is an exodus of Government ministers as they head off to commemorate Anzac Day in far flung countries.
Prime Minister John Key leaves on Tuesday to go to Gallipoli to mark Anzac Day and his predecessor, former Prime Minister Helen Clark, will also travel to Gallipoli as part of the New Zealand delegation. The Prime Minister's party also includes Labour leader Andrew Little, Veteran's Affairs Minister Craig Foss, the Chief of Defence Force Tim Keating, and 25 youth ambassadors.
Mr Key said he would attend the Dawn Service as well as the New Zealand service at Chunuk Bair and the Australian service at Lone Pine. He expected Mr Abbott to also attend all three.
Other ministers are heading to other significant historic battlefields for the occasion. Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee will be at the service in Messines, Belgium. Mr Key said Passchendaele had special significance for New Zealanders and was the worst military disaster in New Zealand's history. Paula Bennett will visit battlefields in the Somme, France, including Longueval where the remains of the Unknown Warrior were taken in 2004. Chris Finlayson will mark the day in Australia's capital, Canberra. Speaker David Carter will represent the Government at the New Zealand service at Hyde Park in London, where he will be on the Speaker's Tour.
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Other travelling ministers include Steven Joyce who will be in Sao Paulo, Brazil for education and trade meetings. Trade Minister Tim Groser will be in the United Arab Emirates, waiting for Mr Key to arrive for a trade mission after Gallipoli commemorations are over.
Mr Key said it was important to ensure New Zealand was properly represented in a centenary year. "Given the extra special importance of Anzac commemorations this year, 100 years on from the landings at Gallipoli, a number of ministers are attending services and events both in and outside New Zealand."
Deputy Prime Minister Bill English will stay home to attend the Dawn Service in Wellington. Mr Key is tagging a trade visit to the United Arab Emirates on to the end of his visit with an 18-strong business delegation. Mr Little will also travel afterward to Paris and London on his first international outing as Labour leader. Britain will be heading toward the final week of its election campaign during Mr Little's visit.
Governor-Generals to stand side by side
Meanwhile, the New Zealand and Australian Governors-General will mark Anzac Day side by side in both countries for the first time.
Australia's Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove will be in Wellington for the Dawn Service on Anzac Day alongside his New Zealand counterpart, Sir Jerry Mateparae before they travel to Australia to attend services there. It will be the first time an Australian and New Zealand Governor General have marked the day together in both countries.
Sir Peter will give an address at the new Pukeaha War Memorial Park and lay a wreath with his wife Lady Cosgrove. He will then return to Canberra for the National Ceremony at the Australian War Memorial.
Sir Jerry and Lady Mateparae will be in Australia later in the day and attend the Last Post Ceremony at the Australian War Memorial where both Governors-General will lay wreaths.