New Zealand, Australia ANZAC delegations to return to Gallipoli for first time in two years

All commemorations will be held within the Turkish COVID-19 guidance at the time.
All commemorations will be held within the Turkish COVID-19 guidance at the time. Photo credit: File

New Zealand and Australian delegations will return to Gallipoli on Anzac Day this year.

The pandemic has stopped formal Australasian commemorations in Turkey for the last two years.

Veterans' Minister Meka Whaitiri will attend next month's service.

She will also visit the Māori Contingent Pā site at Number 1 Outpost, as well as Shrapnel Valley, Beach Cemetery, and Twelve Tree Copse Cemetery where some of the fiercest fighting took place.

"The Government acknowledges the collaborative work that New Zealand and Australian officials have undertaken with Turkish authorities to be able to bring us back together to once again commemorate Anzac Day at Gallipoli. We very much appreciate the ongoing generous support provided by the Turkish authorities that allows us to commemorate at Gallipoli in a safe and respectful way", Whaitiri said in a statement.

She said Anzac Day in Gallipoli is a significant part of the national day of remembrance and has been keenly missed by those who had expected to take part but could not.

Returned Services Association president BJ Clark said the Gallipoli services are unforgettable - like those who fought there.

"Sitting there at some unearthly time in the morning in the cold and the dark and remembering the service of those who'd come on to the peninsula - it was quite eerie, it was quite special."

BJ Clark said Covid will likely restrict numbers at Aotearoa's Anzac Day services next month.

All commemorations will be held within the Turkish Covid-19 guidance at the time and attendees will be encouraged to follow appropriate public health measures.