Graves of war veterans in Te Awamutu, New Zealand decorated. (Image: Mike Subritzky/ 2010)Graves of war veterans in Te Awamutu, New Zealand decorated. (Image: Mike Subritzky/ 2010)

Almost 60 Anzac Day gatherings cut in Auckland citing security issues

Almost 60 Anzac day commemoration events and parades have been cut in Auckland, New Zealand in the wake of the Christchurch mosque. Only 26 commemorations will go ahead in Auckland this month, compared to 84 last year. Organisers from Returned and Services’ Associations (RSAs) consolidated gatherings at the request of police, as the country’s terror risk remains high.

Auckland City district commander Superintendent Karyn Malthus said a reduced number would make it easier for police to maintain the safety of people. “Consolidating events for this year’s commemorations enables police to ensure that resources are deployed appropriately across services,” she said. But she did not have information to suggest there was a “specific risk” to the safety of the public.

Anzac Day is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand that broadly commemorates all Australians and New Zealanders “who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations” and “the contribution and suffering of all those who have served”. The day is observed in 25 April each year and was originally devised to honour the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who served in the Gallipoli Campaign, their first engagement in the First World War.

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