After representing New Zealand at the Gallipoli Anzac Day services last year, Lt Col Olly Te Ua is the Master of Ceremonies for Hamilton's commemorations on Thursday.
Lt Col Te Ua is the Territorial Force Military Secretary after being Commanding Officer of the 3/6 Battalion, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment for four years. He is also a Hamilton City Council Māngai Māori representative.
He was selected to lead the 2018 contingent of New Zealand Defence Force personnel to Gallipoli, where he MC'd the Dawn Service.
"Gallipoli is a spiritual place for New Zealanders, and going there deeply affected me," says Lt Col Te Ua.
"It's an eerie feeling knowing how many of our soldiers are buried there, and a lot of our New Zealand dead are buried in unmarked graves."
The trip to Gallipoli bookended a family connection to the famed battlefields.
Lt Col Te Ua's great-grandfather, Corporal Cedric Oswald Bennett, served with the Auckland Infantry Battalion as part of the 16th Waikato Company at Gallipoli.
"The Auckland Infantry were the first New Zealand unit on the beach on the 25th of April 1915, they landed about 9.30am after the Australians had gone in a few hours earlier. They answered the call from the Australians to support the left flank. The ground that New Zealanders and Australians won that day became the frontline for the next eight months."
Lt Col Te Ua says it is an honour to be involved in Hamilton's Anzac Day services.
"Anzac Day is a special day for us and so to have a role in commemorating those who served in the Great War, World War II, and all conflicts and peacekeeping missions since then is a real privilege."
Anzac Day will be marked with a Dawn Parade and Civic Service, coordinated by Hamilton City Council at the Cenotaph in Memorial Park.
The events start at Knox St with a march to Memorial Park via Victoria St, Anzac Pde and Memorial Dr.
The Dawn Parade leaves Knox St at 5.45am and will arrive at the Cenotaph at 6am. The Civic Service march leaves Knox St at 9.45am for a 10am start at the Cenotaph.
The second event is the Civic Service march, which will leave Knox Street at 9.45am, for a 10am start at the Cenotaph. The march will include riders from the War Horse March Group.
They will leave from Claudelands at 9.15am and join the parade at Knox Street to march to the Civic Service.
Motorists are asked to please take care and show consideration. The boat ramp at Commerce Park on Grantham St will be closed from 5.30am until 11.30am, or until the end of the commemoration service.
Both services will go ahead regardless of weather conditions.
Hamilton Mayor Andrew King says: "I encourage everyone to attend an Anzac service as we stand strong and share our love for and honour our fallen service men and women involved in all conflicts, on all continents."
Hamilton road closures for Anzac Day 2019
Road closures will be in place in the central city and Hamilton East on Thursday 25 April for the city's Anzac Day commemorations.
To assist with traffic management and to ensure the safety of event attendees, the following roads will be closed from 12am to 2pm on Thursday 25 April:
Victoria St, between Grantham St and Anzac Pde
Anzac Pde, between Anglesea St and Grey St
Memorial Dr and River Rd, between Te Aroha St and Anzac Pde
Event attendees can park for free in the non-reserved spaces in the Care Park carpark building between Hood and Knox St.
Mobility cardholders attending the events will be given access through the cordon at the intersection of River Rd and Te Aroha St to park on Opoia Rd and Riro St.