18 March 2020
The New Zealand Army announced today it has postponed ceremonies planned for 25 March in Wellington to mark 175 years since the founding of what would become the modern New Zealand Army.
The Dawn Wreath-laying and Evening Beating Retreat Ceremonies were to mark 175 years since the Legislative Council passed New Zealand’s first Militia Ordinance, which signalled the foundation of what would become the New Zealand Army.
Chief of Army Major General John Boswell said the priority as an Army was to stand prepared to support New Zealand.
“While this event was significant for us as an organisation, we must focus on reducing any risk to not only the community, but to our soldiers’ health, so that we can be best prepared to support the Government, our partner agencies, and our fellow kiwis as and when they need us.”
The announcement follows the cancellation of other activities around New Zealand, including the New Zealand Military Tattoo, which was due to take place on 4 April.
Major General Boswell said the number of official guests, military participants and anticipated public attendance would have taken attendance at the commemorations well above the 500-person threshold announced by the Government this week.
“It’s essential that the New Zealand Defence Force remains prepared, as our number one priority, to support the Government’s focus on the health and wellbeing all of New Zealanders.”
The ceremonies will be held at a date that has yet to be confirmed.