For the first time in 104 years of commemorations, there will be no traditional Anzac Day services and parades due to the Covid-19 Alert Level 4 shutdown.
However, many throughout the Thames Valley will still remember those who served by taking part in the national Stand At Dawn campaign, where people can show their support by standing at their letterboxes, front doors, balconies and driveways at 6am on April 25, as long as they stay within their bubble.
There are also plans to pre-record a full service, which will be available online and on local community Facebook pages, and Radio NZ National will broadcast the official dawn service at 6am.
Hauraki District Mayor Toby Adams said it was an “absolute shame that we can’t honour these men and women in the way we’ve honoured them in the past, but that doesn’t mean we can’t acknowledge them in other ways”.
“We’re turning the Paeroa cenotaph red, and participating in the Stand At Dawn campaign. Please join us and use the day to remember, in your own way, those who have served and are still serving our country in conflicts and peacekeeping,” he said.
The Thames monument will also be lit up in red as usual, but because normal services can’t go ahead, it will remain lit up for a week as a sign of respect.
“People are finding great alternate ways of remembering and commemorating our veterans and service personnel this year; however, we all know the rules by now – stay home and save lives,” Thames-Coromandel District Mayor Sandra Goudie said.
“If you’re joining the national Stand At Dawn campaign being jointly led by the RSA and New Zealand Defence Force, please ensure you stay in your bubble.”
Meanwhile, Police will be operating checkpoints throughout the region to make sure holiday-makers aren’t heading to their baches for the long weekend.
Thames Valley Emergency Operations Centre Controller Garry Towler said there would be “zero tolerance” for those undertaking non-essential travel.
“Like Easter, this is not a normal holiday weekend and Police have confirmed they will be operating checkpoints and exercising less tolerance this time around with regard to those caught breaching the lockdown rules,” he said.
“So stay put in your permanent place of residence and help protect our small communities.”
New Zealand will be at Alert Level 3 from April 28. Go to covid19.govt.nz for more information.