Services and events to commemorate ANZAC Day - Thursday, 25 April

18/04/2019 11:51am

Anzac Day is traditionally observed with remembrance services to acknowledge the personal courage and sacrifice of men and women who have served, been injured and died in service to their country.

The day was first marked in 1916 and although ANZAC Day has gone through many changes over the years, the ceremonies held up and down the country, and in places overseas where New Zealanders gather, on 25 April, remain rich in tradition.  

Nelson City Council Deputy Mayor Paul Matheson says “It’s important that we don’t lose sight of the significance of ANZAC Day, and it’s always pleasing to see so many of the younger generation at commemoration services.  It’s the one day a year that we remember the ultimate sacrifice of many for the freedom that we all enjoy today.”

There are services at various times and at a range of locations, including the Dawn Service at ANZAC Park, the commemoration at Piki Mai at 9.15am, and services at both Whakatū Marae and at the Stoke Memorial Hall.  Wreath laying ceremonies will also be held at the Wakapuaka and Marsden Valley cemeteries, Queens Gardens and Whakatū Marae.

Royal New Zealand Returned and Services' Association (RSA) District President Nelson-Marlborough-Westland, Derek Nees said “As we come to the end of the WWI centenary events, Anzac Day now returns to commemorating not only those who went ashore at Gallipoli but also all those who have served and either never returned or returned broken in body or mind. There are 41,000 Veterans in New Zealand, approximately 11,000 from WWII up to Vietnam, the remainder are from recent conflicts and deployments many of whom are still in uniform. We honour all.”

The Nelson community is invited to attend services and lay a personal wreath or poppy at any of the ceremonies below.

Time Event Location
Parade to assemble at Millers Acre to march to Anzac Park

ANZAC Dawn Service


ANZAC Day Commemoration The War Memorial on Piki Mai




Parade to assemble at Isel Park to march to Stoke Memorial Hall

Stoke Civic ANZAC Service

Stoke Memorial Hall



Parade to assemble at Founders Heritage to march to Whakatū Marae.

Manuhiri (guests) assemble for Welcome on to Whakatū Marae.

Service for 28 Māori Battalion D Company
with Wreath laying to follow.

Whakatū Marae

Wreath laying ceremonies will also be held at:

  • 8am Wakapuaka Services Cemetery
  • 8.30am Boer War Memorial - Queens Gardens
  • 10am Returned Services Section - Marsden Valley Cemetery.

On a less formal note, Founders Heritage Park is hosting a day of family entertainment on Sunday, 28 April from 10am – 3.30pm. There will be a range of exhibitions and activities to celebrate our city’s rich heritage and to commemorate ANZAC Day. Visitors will be treated to a vintage carnival, nostalgic games of yester-year, and displays of military vehicles and equipment.

Local drama group, the Histrionics will perform a living history enactment to show you what it was like to shop 100 years ago, bringing the heritage shops at Founders to life. There’s also guided tours of the former Nelson Mail Printery to mark 175 years of print history in the Nelson/Tasman region.

For more information about ANZAC services (including march start times) and other events, please see the Nelson Heritage Festival programme on