Tena kotou katoa Waikato District,
As we head towards ANZAC Day, let us take this important opportunity to remember those New Zealanders who represented our country in Gallipoli and the many more who have served and lost their lives in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations since - the ultimate act in the service of others.
It is also important to honour all current and past service men and women who stepped forward; those soldiers who fought bravely; all peacekeepers; and those and their families who lived with the ravages of their wartime experiences.
It is a privilege for us all to be able to gather at ANZAC Day commemorations with our freedom of movement and freedom of speech.
We are able to do so because extremely brave men and women across over 150 years have stepped forward into the fray to protect us all.
They have done so to uphold the creeds of freedom and democracy, and our New Zealand way of life.
We are thankful also to the ancillary services such as St John Ambulance; Red Cross; Coastguard, doctors, dentists, nurses, engineers and chaplains, to name a few, who also stepped forward into the fray, often getting wounded or dying alongside their comrades.
I look forward to leading the community in remembrance here in Ngaruawahia at the Mayor’s Civic Ceremony and hope to see some of you there.
You can find out what’s happening on ANZAC Day in your community here on our website.
Ka maumahara tonu taatou ki a raatou – we will remember them – lest we forget.