Culture & Events

Call for Kirikiriroa to unite for Anzac Day

red poppies in a green field in morning light

Anzac Day commemorations look a little different this year, as Hamilton Kirikiriroa marches on with honouring New Zealand and Australian soldiers who battled to protect our values and freedom.

Hamilton Returned Services Association (RSA) and Hamilton City Council have confirmed that the Dawn Parade and Dawn Service will go ahead on Monday 25 April.

The parade starts from the Corner of Victoria Street and Anzac Parade at 5.50am.

The Dawn Service starts at the Cenotaph at Memorial Park at 6am.

Due to the COVID-19 response from our key partners, the Civic Service will look a little different this year.

We invite you to visit the Cenotaph from 10am to 11am to listen to the band and choir, lay your floral tributes and sign the remembrance book that will be given to the RSA.

Hamilton’s service has been held annually since 1916, with only one cancellation in 2020. That cancellation was due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but saw many people in the city hold their own dawn vigil from home.

Hamilton Mayor Paula Southgate is looking forward to honouring the sacrifice of New Zealand’s service personnel and keeping our community safe.

“COVID-19 has changed the way we have been able to acknowledge our Anzacs and commemorate this special day. Video is no replacement for us coming together to show our respects, but I’m still very proud that many Hamiltonians have continued to honour the Anzacs and our armed forces in their own way.”

“It is a hugely important day for our country and for people both young and old. It’s a sombre occasion and a time for reflection. I know people in our city will be pleased to have an opportunity to come together to remember the sacrifices made and to thank people for their service,” said the Mayor.

“I’m really looking forward to the ceremony and seeing many other Hamiltonians there.”

Hamilton RSA President, Vaughan Scrivener said the impact of the pandemic on Anzac Day plans over the past two years has been felt deeply across the Defence Force community.

“Anzac Day is a really important day to all that served our country. Since the last Anzac our lives have been disrupted, so this Anzac Day the Hamilton RSA encourages veterans of all generations to parade and march to the Cenotaph for the Dawn Service.”

Overseas, New Zealanders and Australians are also finally able to return to Gallipoli after three years, to honour the lives of those lost on the frontlines.

Further Anzac Day details

Council and the RSA are reminding those taking part in the parade ahead of the Dawn Service that the starting point has changed to the Corner of Victoria Street and Anzac Parade. This is different from previous years.

Wreaths will remain in place until Wednesday 26 April so please come down when you can to join in on commemorating Anzac Day.

Memorial Drive will remain closed to traffic until midday.

Keep an eye on our website for more information.

COVID-19 precautions

With the COVID-19 traffic light system at red, there are a few things we can all do to help keep our community safe. If you plan on attending the parade and service on Anzac Day, for the safety of yourselves and others:

  • Masks aren’t required to be worn outdoors, but we encourage their use.
  • Keep physically distanced wherever possible.
  • If you are feeling unwell or are isolating, please stay at home and commemorate Anzac Day. Decorate your letterbox to stand by at dawn, bake some Anzac biscuits and tune in online for the services.
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