New Zealanders are being asked to volunteer or undertake an act of service on Anzac Day, with the Student Volunteer Army gathering at Parliament today to raise awareness of the initiative.

Sam Johnson, the volunteer army founder and chair, said he wants parliamentary parties to attend this afternoon's event and show support for the "Serve For New Zealand" initiative.

The concept was first launched on the fifth anniversary of the February 22 Canterbury earthquake, and Mr Johnson said it came from the lessons of the Christchurch earthquakes, where people volunteered to help one another.

A website - - has been set-up for people to pledge their intention to contribute on April 25. So far, more than 3200 people have signed-up.


"It's not just about doing some volunteering on a day, but it is about what is an important day in New Zealand's history, how we can shine a light on that and bring more meaning to it," Mr Johnson said.

The Royal New Zealand Returned and Services' Association chief executive David Moger will attend today's event at Parliament. The RSA has partnered with the Student Volunteer Army to encourage people to volunteer.

This week Volunteer New Zealand is recognising student volunteering, which the organisation's chief executive Scott Miller said was a "massive" part of the country's voluntary effort.