31 Mar 2014

Gallipoli ballot success for 950 people

8:31 pm on 31 March 2014

Those successful in the ballot for tickets to attend centenary commemoration services at Gallipoli next year reflect a cross-section of society, the Government says.

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New Zealanders were allocated 1900 places - in the form of 950 double passes - to attend both the Dawn Service and a memorial service at Chunuk Bair to mark 100 years since the 1915 Gallipoli campaign.

The Government on Monday announced 26 percent of the passes had gone to direct descendants of Gallipoli veterans, 16 percent to veterans of other conflicts and their descendants, and 58 percent to the general public.

One hundred special passes have been held back for youth and other representatives who will be decided later. A waiting list will also be set up in case anyone who has secured a place pulls out.

An approach has been made to Turkey to allow for a second New Zealand service at Gallipoli to be held in August next year.

Earlier on Monday, it emerged that 261 applications had been ruled ineligible because they did not provide the right information or the war records of their relatives turned out to be different than believed.

Returned Services Association president Don McIver said it was not surprising there was some confusion over war records.

"When you think about it, it's nearly 100 years ago. Stories often get passed down through family links, and they don't always stay correct. They don't always stay factual, so I think that's realistic."

People who did not qualify as a descendant automatically went into the general category, Mr McIver said.

All applicants will be notified by email on Monday and then by letter.