Auckland will light up to commemorate ANZAC Day after coronavirus cancels events

Auckland's Harbour Bridge will be lit up to commemorate ANZAC Day.
Auckland's Harbour Bridge will be lit up to commemorate ANZAC Day. Photo credit: Supplied/Auckland Council

New Zealand's biggest city will be lit up on ANZAC Day to honour those who fought for our freedom.

Following the announcement ANZAC Day events would be cancelled due to the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak, Auckland Mayor Phil Goff says the city will mark the occasion differently - with several digital commemorations being set up throughout the city.

One of those, Goff said, will be the Vector Lights - they'll shine poppy red on the Auckland Harbour Bridge from April 21 to 25, while the Auckland War Memorial Museum will shine in a uniform display of red light from April 24 to 26.

Goff said ANZAC Day is one of New Zealand's most important commemorative occasions, adding the decision to cancel services this year was difficult.

It was, however, necessary to combat the spread of COVID-19, he said.

"Anzac Day will be very different this year. But the bravery and service of our armed forces, past and present, will not be forgotten."

Goff said in a statement it's important to remember the courage and self-sacrifice of those who served New Zealand.

Auckland Council has also released a guideline on how people can commemorate ANZAC Day without public gathering this year.

Goff said it was an unprecedented situation.

"Like the wartime generation, it is important that we join together and support each other as we face these new challenges."

Meanwhile, Australians and New Zealanders are being called to commemorate ANZAC Day by standing at the end of their driveways for a minute of silence.

The movement was started in Australia by Justin Wilbur, the son of a Vietnam War veteran, reported 7 News.

He set up a Facebook group on Tuesday called Aussies & Kiwis for ANZACS to promote his idea and it has already amassed over 109,000 members.

"Nothing's going to stop us from showing them the respect they deserve," Wilbur told 7 News.