5 Apr 2013

84 New Zealand WW2 veterans to be flown to New Caledonia for 70th annniversary

3:55 pm on 5 April 2013

The New Zealand Government is flying 84 veterans of World War Two to the 70th anniversary commemorations of the War in the Pacific in New Caledonia later this month.

The general manager of Veterans Affairs New Zealand, Rick Ottaway, says the focus of the four days will be at the Bourail Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery near Noumea where about 500 New Zealand servicemen are buried.

He says many of the veterans will be returning to the Pacific for the first time and it will be an emotional experience.

"They will be the main guests at the ANZAC ceremony that is conducted by the New Zealand and Australian consulates in Noumea, the normal annual ceremony but certainly this year it is going to be very significant by virtue of the fact that there will be this very large group of New Zealand veterans in attendance, then on the 26th there is a special commemorative service being conducted at the Bourail War Graves Cemetery."