For the third year in a row crowds gathered in Rotorua's Government Gardens to remember our fallen soldiers.

Veterans, local dignitaries, members of the public and visitors to the Government Gardens all paid their respects at the consecration of the Rotorua District Field of Remembrance at the Cenotaph tonight.

The Field of Remembrance was first laid in 2015.

103 crosses were placed to commemorate the Rotorua District men who died in World War I but also to celebrate the men who came home and the challenges they faced.


More than 100 people attended tonight's ceremony, welcomed by Monty Morrison and opened in prayer by Reverend Tom Poata.

In her opening address Rotorua Mayor Steve Chadwick commented on the theme of this year's Anzac commemorations, the grind.

"We remember today the families, the men, their wives and their children who said goodbye to their love ones for what they thought would only be a short time," she said.

"It must have seemed a never-ending conflict."

This year the consecration of the crosses was completed by Father Eamon Kennedy who blessed the field with holy water.

Ken Douglas played The Last Post as the flag was lowered to half mast and Reveille as it was risen.

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RSA president William McDonald read For the Fallen in English and Te Arawa Maori Returned Services League president Bryce Morrison read it in te reo Maori.

A basket (waikawa) woven by Lee Marjoribanks was placed at the base of the Cenotaph for people to place poppies. The waikawa was woven to represent the shapes of the ships that transported Kiwis to war and brought them home.

The crosses will be in place beneath the Cenotaph until April 27, for those wishing to pay their respects.