South Islanders remember Anzac Day despite lockdown

In Christchurch police had to intervene at a rest home for war veterans on Saturday morning - but don't worry, it wasn't to arrest them.

Senior Constable Mark Middleton has been working the beat in more ways than one. Today he'd logged a job before his shift had even started - a performance at Rannerdale Village, a rest home for veterans.

Middleton's piped at Anzac ceremonies for the past 20 years.

"I feel quite a connection with the Rannerdale war veterans' house and with everything happening with COVID-19 I felt quite uncomfortable letting Anzac Day go without something special," he says.

Joining him were pipers the length of the country who played their rendition of Amazing Grace.

But at dawn it was the sound of silence that stirred emotion.

"It was quite surprising looking down the street seeing everyone there," says Christchurch Memorial RSA president Jim Lilley.

They paid their respects at Christchurch's Bridge of Remembrance. In rural North Canterbury, people drove to their gates. And further south in Invercargill, another police officer, Senior Constable Reuben Boniface, piped in the driving rain.

Edna Street in Dunedin had quite the turnout.

"What started as a short service here for immediate neighbours, it exploded a bit," says Kevin Weir, Air Force liaison leader for Dunedin.

"Thank you for your attendance and once again I remind you, stay within your bubble."

Marking Anzac Day the only way allowed - local, at home and within your bubble.