A spectacular week of events to mark the centenary of the Gallipoli landings during the First World War begins this Saturday, Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Maggie Barry says.
“Anzac Week is a chance for all New Zealanders to honour the sacrifice of previous generations, understand how our sense of nationhood was forged and come together to reflect on the scale and horror of what our troops endured,” Ms Barry says.
Ceremonies in Wellington begin with the official opening of the Pukeahu National War Memorial Park at 11am on Saturday.
The park is the Government’s single largest commitment to honouring the centenary of the First World War, in which more than 18,000 New Zealanders died.
“The opening of Pukeahu will be a special occasion for the entire country. It is a beautiful place where all of us can come to remember those who have fought, not only in the First World War, but in all conflicts.”
Two major exhibitions by visionary New Zealand filmmakers will also open on Saturday - Sir Peter Jackson’s The Great War Exhibition at the old Dominion Museum and Gallipoli: The Scale of Our War at Te Papa, created by Sir Richard Taylor.
“Both promise to be enthralling and informative experiences for visitors. They complement each other superbly and are ground-breaking productions, putting you right in the middle of what our troops experienced in the war.”
On Monday, the Australian Memorial at Pukeahu will be dedicated by Prime Ministers John Key and Tony Abbott.
Wellington City Council’s WW1 Remembered: A Sound and Light Show runs throughout the week from Saturday and there will be a street parade on April 24.
Anzac Day itself will see a dawn service at 5.30am and National Service of Commemoration from 11am, both at Pukeahu.
In the afternoon there will be a service at the Ataturk Memorial at 2pm, while the Dawn Service from Gallipoli will be broadcast live at Pukeahu from 2.30pm.
Rounding off the week in the evening will be a Beat Retreat ceremony at 5.15pm and final screening of the sound and light show.
Information for people hoping to go to the Anzac Week events can be found at www.mch.govt.nz/anzacweek.
For more information about the week, and ongoing First World War centenary events across the country, visit ww100.govt.nz.
Updated on 23rd July 2015