There will be several Anzac commemorations in Rotorua where people can reflect and remember the men and women who have served their country.

The installation of the Rotorua District Field of Remembrance at the Government Gardens on Tuesday marked the start of Anzac commemorations in the district.

The crosses will remain in place until May 1.

Each of the named crosses in the Field of Remembrance represents a soldier from the Rotorua district who lost their life while serving during World War I, 1914 to 1918.


Visitors are welcome to walk among the crosses and place personal tributes.

Rotorua Lakes Council arts and culture project manager Mandy Godo says the Rotorua District Field of Remembrance was first set up in 2015 as part of commemorations to mark 100 years since the First World War began.

She says there are 110 crosses representing soldiers from the Rotorua district.

Mandy says it took about four to six hours to lay out the crosses and install them around the Cenotaph in Government Gardens.

"Walking among the crosses provides everyone with an opportunity to have a quiet moment of reflection, and a chance to place a personal tribute for those who lost their lives."

Anzac Day (Thursday, April 25) marks New Zealand's first major engagement of World War I at Gallipoli, Turkey.

While it was a terrible defeat, it has gone on to become a legend of sacrifice.

The national theme of this year's Anzac commemorations is Finding Our Way Back.

Following the conclusion of World War I in November 1918, soldiers were not able to return immediately due to a shortage of ships and the need for personnel during the occupation of Germany.


For many, the return took more than 10 months, well into 1919.

The journey back is also a metaphor for the return to a peacetime society. 2019 is the time to reflect on the future.

On Anzac Day the Te Arawa Māori Returned Services League will host a Dawn Service at Ohinemutu from 5.45am.

The service will be conducted by Reverend Tom Poata and includes a short parade past the Muruika Soldiers' Cemetery (near St Faith's Church).

Rotorua ANZAC Parade, 2018. Photo / Supplied
Rotorua ANZAC Parade, 2018. Photo / Supplied

Following the Dawn Service, the Anzac Day Parade will depart from Memorial Drive at 9am, and make its way to the Sportsdrome (Queen's Drive, Government Gardens), where Rotorua's Civic Memorial Service will begin at 9.30am.

The Bay of Plenty Regional Council will be providing a free bus travelling from the start of the parade in Memorial Drive to the Civic Service, departing at 9am for those requiring transport.

The officiating Minister will be Reverend Tom Poata, with Rotorua mayor Steve Chadwick introducing this year's guest speakers - Major (Rtd) Pita Anaru MNZM, E.D., M.I.D., JP (Rtd) and this year's student voice Anahira Ropitini, deputy head girl of Reporoa College.

Rotorua Lakes Council says it has been liaising with the local police in regards to security requirements for the public events.

It said the safety of guests and attendees is a priority and it will continue to work with police to manage risks before and during the event.

Anzac Day Timings (Thursday April 25 2019)
• 5.45am Dawn Service at Ohinemutu
• 8.45am Meet at Memorial Drive Parade (lake end of Fenton St)
• 9am Anzac Parade leaves Memorial Drive and heads through Government Gardens
• 9am Bay of Plenty Regional Council free bus departs from Memorial Drive
• 9.20am Parade arrives at Sportsdrome
• 9.30am Anzac Civic Memorial Service begins at Sportsdrome (expected duration: 1 hour)