No Anzac Day services on Auckland North Coast due to Omicron uncertainty

There will be public services and Anzac Day parades in all parts of Auckland on Monday, but none on the north coast.

North Rim services are usually run by clubs of the Returned and Services’ Association (RSA) with the help and funding of local councils.

Anzac services were expected to be on a smaller scale this year as the country’s switch to the orange light of the Covid-19 protection framework on April 13 left organizers with little time to increase their offers.

As a result, RSA East Coast Bays, Birkenhead and Devonport will run private services, with the latter two broadcasting their services live for the public to watch from home.

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Meanwhile, public Anzac services will be held in all other parts of the region, according to the Auckland Council website.

There will be no Anzac Day public services on the North Shore this year.  (File photo)

Joseph Johnson / Stuff

There will be no Anzac Day public services on the North Shore this year. (File photo)

This includes parades in Panmure, Newmarket, New Lynn, Waitākere, Helensville, Matakana, Warkworth, Waimauku, Wellsford, Bombay, Howick, Manukau, Ōrere, Ōtāhuhu, Ōtara, Papatoetoe, Pukekohe and Waiau Pa.

Parades where road closures are necessary usually require a traffic management plan.

Devonport RSA asked Auckland Council if they could run a service as usual after the change to orange, but were told there was not enough time to organize a service plan traffic management.

The RSA then asked if the service could continue without a parade at Windsor Reserve, but the council again refused, saying a traffic management plan would still be required as a health and safety measure.

Devonport-Takapuna local council chairwoman Ruth Jackson said Anzac Day was an important part of New Zealand history and locals were disappointed there were no public services on the north coast.

RICKY WILSON/Stuff

Devonport-Takapuna local council chairwoman Ruth Jackson said Anzac Day was an important part of New Zealand history and locals were disappointed there were no public services on the north coast.

Devonport RSA chairman Muzz Kennett would not comment on the matter but said that while the RSA was unhappy with the decision, they understood.

If there was no traffic management plan and someone got injured, it would be the fault of the RSA, he said.

“We are disappointed, but that’s how it is.

He added that the public can still pay their respects by visiting the war memorial to lay a wreath at their own pace, or watching a live broadcast of the RSA member service.

Any event in a public space requires an event permit.  Justine Haves, from Auckland Council, said there was not enough time to plan a new event in Devonport after the country entered the orange light phase of Covid-19.  (File photo)

Abigail Dougherty / Stuff

Any event in a public space requires an event permit. Justine Haves, from Auckland Council, said there was not enough time to plan a new event in Devonport after the country entered the orange light phase of Covid-19. (File photo)

Devonport-Takapuna Local Council chairwoman Ruth Jackson said residents were disappointed that there were no Anzac Day public services on the North Shore.

The local council and the RSA believed other organizers would also have invitation-only services, so hearing that many were going ahead with parades was “a kick in the gut”, Jackson said.

She added that the council had been inconsistent in applying the rules.

“Why the North Shore has absolutely nothing?”

Justine Haves, chief executive of regional services planning, investments and partnerships at Auckland Council, said events in public spaces required an event permit, which took up to 12 weeks to process. obtain.

Many Anzac Day services are said to need traffic management plans to deal with overflowing crowds onto the roads, and Auckland Transport’s approval process could take up to 10 weeks.

Local councils were asked to finalize Anzac Day plans at their business meetings in March when Omicron was at its peak and with no certainty that the red phase of Covid-19 would end. Haves said.

“General staff advice to all local councils was to prioritize smaller services to reduce the spread of Covid-19 and keep attendees safe, including veterans.”

Haves said there were only 17 working days left until Anzac Day when the Devonport RSA asked to have their service at Windsor Park, which was not enough time to hold a new event.

The council had approved event permits for 24 Anzac Day events, 15 of which had traffic management plans approved by Auckland Transport.

There were “community-run public services” on the North Shore, she said, but organizers chose not to advertise them to the council. Thing could not find any information regarding these services.

She acknowledged it was frustrating that Anzac Day commemorations could not go on as usual due to the pandemic and encouraged Aucklanders to “stop and reflect on the military and the military, past and present, who have shown courage and selflessness in the service of our country”.

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