Two-thirds of Auckland’s Anzac Day services have been canned in the wake of the Christchurch mosque shootings.
There would be just 26 services across the region, down from 84 in 2018, Auckland Council said on Tuesday evening.
Decisions to cancel or consolidate services had been made following discussions with the police and the Returned and Services Association.
However, police had recommended to organisers that a number of planned events across Auckland be consolidated in the interests of public safety, she said.
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“In the current environment Police are continuing to provide a visible presence nationwide for the safety and reassurance of the community.
“Police have been working closely with Auckland Council and local RSAs around plans in the lead up to Anzac Day.”
There would be a “high level of visible police presence” at each event “for the public’s reassurance”, she said.
However, the Returned and Services Association’s headquarters in Wellington was unaware of any services outside Auckland being cancelled.
RSA marketing and communications manager Shane Wratt said safety and security had been discussed with police nationwide.
However, Auckland was a “different beast” due to its population and the number of small services that took place on Anzac Day, Wratt said.
There were a lot of RSAs in the area and many had services in venues quite close to each other.
RSAs running smaller services were told it may not be possible to have police coverage and it was recommended they consolidate services with ones that were nearby, he said.
“We’ve been in conversations with police for some time and we’ve had collaborative conversations – we’re talking to experts who are giving us their opinions – but it’s up to RSAs to make the call,” Wratt said.
Wratt believed Auckland RSAs were taking a “sensible approach” to Anzac Day events as the most important thing was for people to feel safe, he said.
“It’s a different world.”
The RSA would be updating its list of services as soon as it received more information on cancelled events, he said.
In north Auckland, Matakana War Memorial cancelled its Anzac Day service.
The Memorial said police had told it to cancel their Anzac Day service because of the “current terror threat level” on Monday.
In Howick in east Auckland, RSA members said that after discussions with police and Auckland Council, its marching parade had been cancelled.
However, the dawn and civic commemoration services on Stockade Hill would still go ahead at 6.05am and 11am.
Police told the Howick RSA the “threat level remains high and marching parades may make a tempting target”, a member said.
Organiser Mike Cole said although they had their personal opinions, cancelling marching parades was about the safety of the public and RSA members.
In past years, the parade has drawn in crowds of about 1000 people, Cole said.
A service in Helensville, in northwest Auckland, was also cancelled.
Helensville RSA president Les Coste said the service had been cancelled after talking to police.
Coste said there were problems with road closures and public safety was the utmost concern but the cancellation would only be for this year.
It was “certainly” disappointing and everyone was devastated, he said.
There would be dawn services in Wellsford, Warkworth, Browns Bay, Waikumete Cemetery, Waiheke, Auckland Domain, Pukekohe, Howick, Papakura and the Manukau Memorial Gardens, Auckland Council said.
Civic services would be held in Warkworth, Browns Bay, Silverdale, Waikumete Cemetery, Onehunga, Waiheke, Point Chevalier, Auckland Domain, Ōrākei, Great Barrier Island, Mt Wellington, Pukekohe, Waiuku, Howick, Ōtāhuhu and Papakura.
Organisers for South Island and Far North services that could be contacted said their events were still going ahead at this stage.