The Auckland Harbour Bridge, for the first time, will feature a tribute light show in honour of the fallen ANZACs.

It will also be lit up red tonight and tomorrow, from 6pm, just a few days out from Anzac Day.

On Anzac Day itself - next Wednesday - a special light and sound show will begin from 5am to 6.30am to coincide with the start of the traditional dawn services all around the country.

The animation, run by Vector Lights, will feature references to a journey across water; showing a civilian travelling to war and back again. Images of the Southern Cross can be seen, a silver fern and there will also be nods to the Maori Battalion.


The show will end with the bridge lighting up completely in red - showing a field of poppies blowing in the wind - before going completely dark.

Those who miss it in the early morning will get another chance to see it that night, when it runs continuously from 6pm until midnight.

Auckland RSA President Graham Gibson, a Vietnam veteran, said they were thrilled about the occasion - an installation he acknowledged was a new way to share the Anzac story with young New Zealanders.

"This is such a fresh and innovative telling of the Poppy story and a truly special way to honour the sacrifice of New Zealanders this Anzac Day.

"For the RSA, it's not about telling how to remember, but finding new ways of remembering that grow awareness for new generations, so that our stories of service and sacrifice will not be forgotten," he said.

Gibson thanked those who were making the light show possible - including the Auckland Council, lines company Vector and production company Assembly.

The Anzac lights show follows a number of lights animations featured on the Auckland Harbour Bridge to mark a number of occasions or events happening in the city or around the country.

Colourful installations showed up on the bridge marking Waitangi Day as well as the recent Pasifika Festival at Western Springs, Auckland.


Meanwhile, the RSA Poppy Appeal starts tomorrow.

The annual appeal helps to fund care and support for those veterans from World War II through to Afghanistan and current NZ Defence Force members and service families.

Among those to benefit from the funds is a father of two from Masterton who suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Injury.

Nick Tomlin spent 25 years in the British military and served for the NZ Defence Force in a civilian post when he came to New Zealand with his young family.

Funds donated from the Poppy Appeal last year helped to get him to the US to attend the SPARTA Project in California - a programme designed to help veterans with PTSI.

"My problems did not start until I had left the military,'' he said.

"I was trained to fight and be a strong man. So when I came home suffering, I wouldn't talk about it or ask for help.''

A close friend, also ex-military, recognised something was wrong and helped him to enrol in the SPARTA Project.

"SPARTA taught me to unleash the power within to overcome the traumatic experiences of war. The choice is simple, take control of the PTSI and courageously look for answers to resolve it or accept the experiences of war.

"Don't spend years in suffering detached from love, joy, happiness and hope. Never give up. It may be hard at first, but as long as you want to live and move forward, it will get easier.''

Helping veterans:

In addition to these, RSA also helped veterans in the past year with Poppy Appeal funds in ways including:
· Financial support for a soldier experiencing effects of PTSI who was in financial difficulty
· Financial aid and home moving assistance for a Solomon Island veteran who was injured on deployment and later faced personal tragedy and hardship.
· Assisted a suicidal young Veteran, who was initially secured by No Duff and then handed over to RSA, with emergency accommodation and food and emergency counselling.
· Emergency counselling for the wife of a Veteran, who suffers from chronic PTSI.
· Counselling for a Veteran with PTSI and support for them to get assistance through Veterans Affairs.

How you can help:
· Members of the public can support the appeal by making a donation to a Street Appeal collector on Friday April 20.
· Donations can also be made online at and at any ANZ branch.