Every year, wreaths of remembrance are ceremonially placed at war memorials around the country on Anzac Day.

Every year, these wreaths are placed by representatives of veterans' organisations, nations, civic authorities, and youth organisations.

Among the many which are placed each year at the Stratford service is one provided by the police. This year, while a wreath was still placed yesterday by the local police, it was funded privately, rather than from a police budget.

A police source told the Stratford Press budget cuts across the police force has led to a "no spend" directive across the Central District police stations, meaning anything not considered operationally vital will not be funded.


Superintendent Sue Schwalger, Central District Commander, says wreaths are being funded for what she terms three main services, in Palmerston North, New Plymouth and Whanganui, but not for the other services in the Central Districts policing region.

"The central district Police leadership team considered that the substantial cost of providing a wreath at every ceremony was not appropriate, and that this money could be better spent as part of the work we do in our communities."

Police officers at the individual police stations in the Central District have been unhappy with this decision, the source says.

"They feel it is important to show respect by placing a wreath at the local Dawn Service and are disappointed the decision has been made for it not to be funded this year."

A collection was organised by individual officers to purchase a wreath to be placed on behalf of the station. The source says the same has been done at other stations in the Central Districts policing region.