Christchurch’s Anzac Day Dawn Service will be held in Cranmer Square

Tight security for dawn service

by Mike Isle

The Christchurch Anzac Day Dawn Service in Cranmer Square will go ahead with extra security measures and a strong police presence in and around the square.

The 10am citizens’ service will also still be held in the Transitional Cathedral in Latimer Square. Several smaller services are planned for throughout the Christchurch area, led by the RSA.

However, a planned Christchurch City Council-organised event in Sydenham has been cancelled.

It follows New Zealand Police requests to cancel or consolidate Anzac services to enable police to provide appropriate support to large gatherings, with heightened levels of security after the March 15 mosque attacks in Riccarton and Linwood. Council Civic and International Relations manager Matt Nichols said there would be a visible police presence at the dawn service in Christchurch for the safety and reassurance of the community.

“We recognise the importance of Anzac Day to so many people, so we’re working with police to put appropriate security measures in place to allow people to feel safe to come together and mark the day,” Nichols said.

“If possible, people should not bring bags to the service to reduce potential delays when entering Cranmer Square.”

Vehicle access will also be restricted around the area.

The council is encouraging people to allow a bit of extra time to get to the dawn service and the citizens’ service.