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No National Anzac Day Services and Pacific Islands Memorial Unveiling Postponed

Media release: 19 March 2020

National Anzac Day Services at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park and Atatürk Memorial will not be going ahead this year due to the mass gathering restrictions in place in response to COVID-19. The unveiling of the Pacific Islands Memorial at Pukeahu, planned for 18 April, has also been postponed.

Anzac Day

While there will be no national Anzac Day commemorative services, there will be an act of remembrance on behalf of the people of New Zealand at the National War Memorial. This will be undertaken jointly by the Chief of Defence Force, Air Marshal Kevin Short, and the President of the Royal New Zealand Returned and Services’ Association, Mr B.J. Clark. This will not be open to the public or media but will be recorded for subsequent broadcast. 

Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage Chief Executive Bernadette Cavanagh says:

‘We know that all New Zealanders will be saddened that these public events can’t go ahead this year. These are unprecedented times and the health and wellbeing of our communities has to be our priority.

‘Regardless of what form it takes, Anzac Day is our national day of remembrance. We know that all those who have served and are still serving New Zealand in conflicts and peacekeeping, will be front and centre in our thoughts and hearts on 25 April.

‘I encourage you to look at alternative ways you can honour these women and men on what will always be a very special day in New Zealand.’

Decisions about Anzac Day services around the country will be made by local communities.

Pacific Islands Memorial Unveiling

The Pacific Islands Memorial, named Te Reo o Te Moana nui a Kiwa – the deep sigh of the Pacific will be the seventh international memorial in Pukeahu National War Memorial Park.  It was scheduled to be unveiled on 18 April with guests travelling from across New Zealand and the Pacific to attend.  In light of the current situation with COVID-19, the decision has been made to delay the installation of the memorial and the unveiling event. 

Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage Chief Executive Bernadette Cavanagh says:

‘This memorial represents New Zealand’s enduring friendship with the Pacific Islands and commemorates the service and sacrifice of the soldiers from 16 Pacific Island countries.  It is only right that the event is postponed until it is safe for people to gather and mark this significant occasion.’


For more information contact:

[email protected]

027 622 0468

Updated on 22nd April 2020