Prince William has paid homage to those who served and died in Gallipoli at a solemn Anzac Day service at Auckland's War Memorial Museum.

The service marks the 104 years since Anzac troops landed at Gallipoli on April 25, 1914, and the centenary of the surviving troops' return home.

The Duke of Cambridge also paid tribute to the heroes of a modern-day conflict, meeting the first responders to the Christchurch mosque attacks in which 50 people were killed on March 15.

Prince William also made a surprise visit to the 5-year-old girl who was shot in the Al Noor Mosque shooting last month.


The little girl, Alen Alsati, received critical injuries after she was shot multiple times in the attacks on March 15.

Earlier this month she woke from a coma and was unable to see, speak or eat by herself but in the weeks since has made small steps in recovery.

On Anzac Day, she was visited by Prince William and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at Starship Hospital, with Alen quizzing the Prince about his family.

"Do you have a daughter?" she asked in a video released by Kensington Palace.

"Yes I do," said William. "She's called Charlotte - she's about the same age as you."

Police Commissioner Mike Bush said the royal visit was a huge boost for police officers.

"If I could use his words to our staff: 'A good friend doesn't pick up the phone, when people are in need you travel to their place and you put your arms around them'."

Today, William will visit Christchurch Hospital and the two mosques hit by the attacks, and meet more survivors and their families.


Yesterday, he was accompanied by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff when he arrived for the morning service.

On behalf of his grandmother the Queen, he placed a wreath on the war memorial cenotaph outside the museum in the Auckland Domain but did not address the crowd.

Security was tight at the Domain, armed police guarded the approaches to the service and security staff stood, backs to the Prince, scanning the crowd in all directions.

Ardern called on New Zealanders to recommit to the principles of freedom, democracy and peace that the country had fought for.

She said the sacrifice of past wars reminded us of "our shared humanity — something we have been reminded of again in the wake of the 15th of March".

In the face of violence and hatred we resolve not to be divided.

Recent terrorist attacks in Christchurch and Sri Lanka featured prominently at Anzac Day services throughout the country yesterday.


Prayers and moments of silence for those who lost their lives and those impacted by the attacks were recognised during the Auckland service.

In Wellington, the Governor General Dame Patsy Reddy began her speech by also reflecting on the Christchurch terror attacks.

Our history has been shaped by some dark and disruptive events but we have also been shaped by our responses to those challenges, she said.

Prince William and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern share a greeting at the civic service at Auckland's War Memorial Museum. Photo / NZ Government
Prince William and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern share a greeting at the civic service at Auckland's War Memorial Museum. Photo / NZ Government

"We live in a country that is so much more diverse than it was 100 years ago. Our diversity is a source of strength and in the face of violence and hatred we resolve not to be divided."

A century ago, following the unprecedented chaos and destruction of World War I, New Zealand service personnel were returning from battle-scarred fields, Reddy said.

"Many soldiers were physically wounded, but their invisible wounds were often just as damaging," she said.


Elsewhere, hundreds of Australians and New Zealanders gathered in Hyde Park Corner for the official Anzac commemorations in the United Kingdom.

After an opening address and prayer the head of the New Zealand Defence staff, Chris Parsons, gave the first reading — Homecoming — Te Hokinga Mai.

Written by Vincent O'Sullivan, it was the poem read at the 2004 dedication of New Zealand's Unknown Warrior, who like many others had sacrificed his life fighting on the battlefield.

" ... the past we harvest that was yours, the present that you gave for ours.

" ... life allows us one another. What we have and you do not, our brother."

Kiwi Peter Dawes, 63, had come to the dawn services in London since they first began here more than 10 years ago.


"My father fought in the war, I have got to honour him and all his friends. We must honour the past. I'll keep doing it till the day I die."

The engineer, who has lived in London for 31 years, said growing up in Hastings it had been a yearly tradition to attend the Anzac services.

Valley Park School student Georgina Lawrence, 15, was one of the Kiwi children reading at the service. She said as someone born in London, to a Kiwi mum, the day was a way for her to connect to her heritage as she remembered those who'd died at war.

"It's important to remember the past and to move forward ... to reflect on how people have changed for good and for worse and remember people that died for us to have a good future."

Christchurch mosque shooting survivor Mustafa Boztas, 21, attended the Anzac Day dawn service yesterday after being discharged from hospital this week.

Boztas, who moved to New Zealand from Turkey 10 years ago, said he wanted to show solidarity and stand with other Kiwis as one.


"I'm from Turkey and this is my tenth year coming to Anzac Day. I came to show my support, and respect and honour our granddads, fathers and sons."

He says he didn't feel in any danger. "I knew it was safe to be here."