29 Sep 2012

Only 2000 seats for Gallipoli centenary ballot

1:05 pm on 29 September 2012

The Returned and Services Association says New Zealanders missing out on a place at the Gallipoli landings centenary in 2015 may find it is actually better to make the pilgrimage at another time.

New Zealand has been allocated 2000 seats for the ceremony and the Government wants to hear what people think about how to ballot the precious tickets.

RSA national president Don McIvor says he would be surprised if most New Zealanders did not favour putting descendants of men who served in the Dardenelles first.

However, he says people who miss out should not be disappointed, because there is actually more freedom to explore the battlefield at other times.

"The opportunity to walk around the battlefield and to stop at the small graveyards that there are there - there's separate burial places of New Zealanders - is a very special experience."

Mr McIvor says Australia's ticket allocation is four times bigger than New Zealand's, but that reflects the casualty rate of each country in the disastrous nine-month campaign.