14 April 2021
Last year saw a very different way of commemorating ANZAC Day with New Zealanders in lockdown due to COVID-19. This year the installation of the Rotorua District Field of Remembrance (Friday 16 April 2021) marks the start of public ANZAC commemorations in the district.
The field of crosses will be installed at the Cenotaph in Government for the last time. Originally created for the centenary of WW1 (2014 – 2018), each of the 110 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 Monday 26 April and provides everyone with an opportunity to have a quiet moment of reflection, and a chance to place a personal tribute for those who lost their lives.
ANZAC Day (Sunday 25 April 2021) 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 Te Arawa Māori Returned Services League will host a Dawn Service at Ōhinemutu 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).
Following the Dawn Service the ANZAC Day Parade will depart from the new Memorial Plaza (Lake end of Fenton Street) at 9am, and make its way to the Energy Events Centre (Queen’s Drive, Government Gardens) where Rotorua’s Civic Memorial Service will begin at 9.30am.
The officiating Minister will be Reverend Tom Poata, with Her Worship the Mayor Steve Chadwick introducing this year’s guest speakers: Warrant Officer of the Navy, Warrant Officer Lance Graham.
Student representatives from Rotorua Girls High School will also speak including Helena Dou’ble (Head Girl) and Hope Smith (Deputy Head Girl).
Ken Douglas will play the Last Post on his bugle before ‘Ode to the Fallen’ is read by WO11 Pererika Makiha (President of Te Arawa Māori Returned Services League) and Ron Hope (President of Rotorua Returned Services Association), in te reo Māori and English respectively.
During the laying of the wreaths three pipers from the City of Rotorua Highland Pipe Band will play.
Music to conclude the event will be performed by the Rotorua Brass Band and Elisha Hulton, along with students from Rotorua Boys High School.
There will be a special performance by the Royal New Zealand Navy Band at the Band Rotunda following the service.
Ka maumahara tonu tātau ki a rātau. We will remember them.
ANZAC Day Timings (Sunday 25 April 2021)
5.45am Dawn Service at Ohinemutu
8.50am Meet at Memorial Plaza (Lake end of Fenton St)
9am ANZAC Parade leaves Memorial Plaza and heads through Government Gardens
9.20am Parade arrives at Energy Events Centre
9.30am ANZAC Civic Memorial Service begins at Energy Events Centre (expected duration: 1 hour)
ANZAC Day Road closures:
*Memorial Plaza at the lakefront will be closed from 8am to 10am.
*People driving to the Energy Events Centre 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.