Auckland communities to hold ANZAC services against police advice

A number of Auckland communities are ignoring police and council advice and going ahead with ANZAC services tomorrow. 

The number was culled due to the increased terror threat following the Christchurch mosque attacks. 

But some fear it sets a dangerous precedent. 

For 95 years people have gathered at a memorial in Devonport and remembered those who died for this country. 

Tomorrow will be no different.

Despite being advised to cancel due to safety concerns, this community's ANZAC service and parade will go ahead. 

For many it's deeply personal. 

"This year's even more important. I lost a son a year ago. He was a veteran, he served in east Timor and Afghanistan so I'll proudly wear his medals tomorrow," said local woman Kathleen Whatuira.

More than 3,000 people attend every year - the growing popularity part of a national trend. 

But after the national terror threat level was raised because of the Christchurch mosque attacks, it was decided to consolidate the number of ANZAC services in Auckland.  

After discussions between police, Auckland Council and local RSA's, it was decided 58 services would be cancelled leaving only 26 to go ahead.

Vietnam veteran Chris Mullane says it's killing the meaning of ANZAC day.

"We're actually killing off the whole spirit of what ANZAC day means."

Mullane is concerned that this year will set a precedent as a way for the council to save money. 

"It does cost a bit of money to run all the services, the danger in taking them away and consolidating them if that was to become the norm, I think there'd be a real kickback from the communities," he told Newshub.

Auckland Council says there's no plans to do that, and for good reason.

The National RSA boss says there would be a huge backlash. 

"I think there will be more people. Because people will go along and say we're not going to be cowed by this we're not going to be told to hide away. We're New Zealanders," RSA CEO Jack Steer told Newshub.

An act of defiance from a community insisting on remembering their own the way they always have.



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