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Anzac Day marked around the world by New Zealand Defence Force personnel

From dawn services across New Zealand to Anzac biscuits in South Sudan, serving New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will be commemorating Anzac Day in a variety of ways 109 years on from the Gallipoli landings.

25 April, 2024

Although Anzac Day has its origin at Türkiye’s Gallipoli Peninsula, today this occasion provides an opportunity to remember the service and sacrifice of all personnel who have served in New Zealand’s interests over the years.

More than 30,000 New Zealand military personnel have been killed in wars and conflicts since 1915.

Across major cities and rural communities from Northland to the deep south, New Zealanders will soon be gathering for dawn services this morning to spark a day of national collective remembrance.

On his final Anzac Day as Chief of Defence Force, Air Marshal Kevin Short will attend both the Dawn Service and National Commemoration Service at Wellington’s Pukeahu National War Memorial. 

“It fills me with pride when I think of all the service and sacrifice our personnel, and importantly their whānau, have contributed to the New Zealand Defence Force, and to New Zealand in general,” Air Marshal Short said. 

“From those who landed on the shores of Gallipoli, to our servicemen and servicewomen posted abroad today protecting and upholding the international rules-based order, and values intrinsically important to Kiwis - we remember and acknowledge them all. 

“On a personal note, representing the Defence Force at this commemoration has been incredibly moving, and something I will forever feel privileged to have experienced. And being able to mark my final Anzac Day in uniform alongside our friends and colleagues from across the Tasman is truly significant for me.”  

Air Marshal Short will be joined at Pukeahu by his Australian Defence Force counterpart, General Angus Campbell, who is marking the occasion in Wellington.

“It is an honour to spend Anzac Day in New Zealand. The Australian Defence Force is proud to continue our long and deep history of service alongside our close neighbour and ally New Zealand, in support of a stable, secure and prosperous Indo-Pacific region,” General Campbell said.

“Anzac Day holds a very special place in the bond between Australia and New Zealand; it symbolises the enduring importance of our shared military history, and commemorates the courage and sacrifice of those who have contributed to the freedom of our nations.”

NZDF personnel are also providing ceremonial support around the country today.

And all three armed services – Navy, Army and Air Force - as well as personnel from the ADF will be represented at Go Media Stadium, where more than 150 uniformed servicemen and servicewomen will perform ceremonial duties and represent the Defence Force at the One New Zealand Warriors’ NRL fixture against the Gold Coast Titans. 

In Australia, the NZDF will have been represented in services across every state and territory in the lead up to - and on - Anzac Day. 

Military advisor to the New Zealand High Commission in Canberra, Lieutenant Colonel Nathan Mutu, said the importance of the ADF and NZDF relationship cannot be underestimated.

“The ANZAC spirit forged during the landings at Gallipoli is as strong now as it was then.  Further, the broader defence relationship is one that is open, based on mutual respect and is enduring,” he said. 

Further afield, an NZDF contingent, along with personnel from other nations who contributed to the battles on the Gallipoli Peninsula in the First World War, is gathering in Türkiye, where they’re due to hold a number of roles in commemorative events. 

In the Republic of Korea, the 12 NZDF personnel deployed to the United Nations Command and its Military Armistice Commission will attend a joint Australian and New Zealand dawn service at the Korean War Memorial in Seoul. 

Three NZ Army officers posted to the United Nations Mission in South Sudan will gather in Juba for Anzac Day, where they will hold a short service followed by breakfast alongside their ADF colleagues. With Anzac biscuits a rare, if not impossible, find in South Sudan, local caterers have risen to the challenge of baking their own.

In the United Kingdom, NZDF personnel who are training Armed Forces of Ukraine recruits will conduct a service at Codford Cemetery in Wiltshire, where 66 New Zealanders from World War One are buried. The service will include representatives from the NZDF, UK, Australia and Ukraine.

The four personnel serving with the multinational Solomon Islands International Assistance Force will attend a dawn service in Honiara, while personnel deployed to the Middle East will attend commemorations with their ADF counterparts in the region.