Rotorua’s ANZAC commemorations


14 April 2018

Consecration of the Rotorua District Field of Remembrance on Wednesday (18 April 2018, 5pm) marks the start of ANZAC commemorations in the district.

The field of crosses will be installed at the Cenotaph in Government Gardens to mark the 103rd anniversary of the Gallipoli landings by ANZAC troops on 25 April 1915.

Each of the named crosses in this Field of Remembrance represents a soldier from the Rotorua District, who lost their life whilst serving during World War One, 1914 - 1918.

The crosses will remain in place until Sunday 29 April and visitors are welcome to walk amongst the crosses and place personal tributes. 

ANZAC Day (Wednesday 25 April 2018) marks New Zealand’s first major engagement of World War One at Gallipoli, Turkey.  While it was a terrible defeat, it has gone on to become a legend of sacrifice.

Locals and visitors are invited to attend several free ANZAC commemorations in Rotorua to reflect and remember all the men and women who have served their country.

On ANZAC Day (Wednesday 25 April 2018) the Te Arawa Maori Returned Services League will host a Dawn Service at Ohinemutu from 5.45am. The service will be conducted by Reverend Tom Poata and includes a short parade past the Muruika Soldiers’ Cemetery (near St Faith’s Church).

Major Pita Anaru will make an ANZAC Dedication and during the commemorations the Combined Schools Choir will sing Aue Ihu, a hymn that was commonly was sung by the 28th Māori battalion after many battles.

Warrant Officer Class 2 Bradley Foster, Australian Defence Force is a guest speaker and the Dawn Service is expected to conclude at approximately 6.30am.

Following the Dawn Service the ANZAC Day Parade will depart from Memorial Drive at 9am, and make its way to the Southern Trust Sportsdrome (Queen’s Drive, Government Gardens) where Rotorua’s Civic Memorial Service will begin at 9.30am.

There will be a free bus travelling from the start of the parade in Memorial Drive to the Civic Service, departing at 9am for those requiring transport.

The officiating Minister will be Reverend Tom Poata, with Her Worship the Mayor Steve Chadwick introducing this year’s guest speakers: Brig Gen (Rtd) R. Ian Thorpe CBE of MSD and John Paul College Drama Captain Olivia Temm.

Ken Douglas will play the Last Post on his bugle before the Ode to the Fallen is read out by Mr Henare Macown and Mr Bryce Morrison in te reo Māori and English respectively.

Following the laying of the wreaths music will be performed by City of Rotorua Highland Pipe Band, Evelyn Falconer, Rotorua Brass and Western Heights High School Band.

The team from Rotorua Museum will be located at The Arts Village (1240 Hinemaru Street) from 10am until 2pm on ANZAC Day with a free craft activity.  Learn to make a harakeke (flax) cross to contribute to the Delores Cross Project, an initiative paying tribute to the approximately 30,000 New Zealand military personnel buried on foreign soil.

Also open between 10am – 2pm, take the opportunity to visit The Art of Remembering - Te Pū o Mahara exhibition.  Showcasing the winners and finalist entries by Rotorua art students who were tasked with creating visual art based on a Rotorua person who served in the Great War, the exhibition of 23 works will be on display at The Arts Village from 21 April until 26 May 2018.

For more information visit

Ka maumahara tonu tātau ki a rātau. We will remember them.


Public Consecration (Wednesday 18 April):

  • Queen’s Drive from Princes Gate Arch to Oruawhata Drive from 4.30pm to 6.00pm

ANZAC Day (Wednesday 25 April):

  • Memorial Drive at the lakefront will be closed from 8am to 10am.
  • People driving to the Southern Trust Sportsdrome are encouraged to avoid the Princes Gate entrance to Government Gardens and instead enter past Polynesian Spa and take the road behind Rotorua Museum and the Energy Events Centre, or arrive before 9am.


Page reviewed: 14 Apr 2018 9:00am