13 Apr 2015

NZDF staff set off for ANZAC Day

3:43 pm on 13 April 2015

More than 500 Defence Force personnel will represent New Zealand at ANZAC Day services this year, in places as diverse as Antarctica, Belgium, London and Turkey.

ANZAC Day celebrations in Wellington last year

ANZAC Day celebrations in Wellington last year Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

This year is especially significant as it commemorates the centenary of the ANZAC landings at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915.

Defence Force Chief Lieutenant General Tim Keating said NZDF personnel were heading to Anzac Day services in Great Britain, France, Belgium and Australia.

A contingent of about 75 people flew out of Whenuapai Airbase north of Auckland today, bound for Gallipoli.

The Defence Force said the group included defence personnel, civilians and 25 youth ambassadors.

They were travelling in an Air Force plane and expected to reach their destination later this week.

In New Zealand, NZDF personnel will support 400 ANZAC Day-related events across the country from Te Kao to Bluff, including a programme of events focused on the new Pukeahu National War Memorial Park in Wellington.

Defence personnel would also take part in ANZAC Day services in Niue, the Cook Islands, Tonga and Samoa, remembering those countries' involvement with the New Zealand Expeditionary Force 100 years ago.

NZDF soldiers outside Parliament buildings in Wellington on Armistice Day.

NZDF soldiers outside Parliament buildings in Wellington on Armistice Day. Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

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