5 May 2010
Veterans Affairs Minister Judith Collins has hailed Veterans Affairs New Zealand’s (VANZ) management of this year’s 95th anniversary commemorations of the Gallipoli landings.
“One of the main tasks of VANZ is to ensure that we as a nation continue to remember and honour the service and sacrifice of our veterans of all conflicts,” Ms Collins said.
“This year’s Gallipoli commemoration was an enormously complex event involving the governments of New Zealand, Turkey and Australia, a wide range of government and non-governmental agencies, veterans groups, the media, and the public.
“VANZ did an outstanding job of not only co-ordinating the event, but of imbuing the occasion with the sensitivity, respect and the spirit of remembrance that is deserved.
“The Gallipoli Landings are an important event for all New Zealanders, but we shouldn’t forget that it is first and foremost a commemoration of the service of our military personnel and the sacrifices they have so we may live in peace and freedom.”
VANZ took over the role of managing Gallipoli commemorations in 2001, with New Zealand Defence Force providing invaluable logistical support.
This year’s commemorations involved selecting 22 veterans and 21 students to join the official New Zealand contingent to Gallipoli.
The veterans, each of who had a family connection to Gallipoli, were chosen by national ballot.
The Year-13 high school students, from throughout New Zealand, were selected as a result of a multi-media competition organised by VANZ.
The student winners were joined on the trip by three cadets of the New Zealand Cadet Forces and the winner of the Cyril Bassett VC - National Bank RNZRSA National Speech Competition.
Media contact: Stefan Herrick 04 817 9809 or 021 748 492.