Every year on 25 April, we remember the New Zealanders and Australians who have lost their lives at war and honour our returned and serving servicemen and women. In communities across our two countries it is customary to come together at war memorials at dawn, the time that ANZAC forces started landing on the Gallipoli peninsula on this day in 1915.

Last year, COVID-19 alert level restrictions meant many of us stood at our gates and marked the day within our bubbles. This year, we returned to tradition, and like many of you I joined members of my community at my local Anzac Day service.

I want to thank all those who represented Fire and Emergency at Anzac Day services across the country last Sunday.

Many families, irrespective of ethnicity, religion and background, have names inscribed on memorials in our communities. On Anzac Day, we honour them, and are reminded to be kind and humane to others.

Ka maumahara tonu tātou ki a rātou | We will remember them

I also wanted to take the opportunity to let you know that our Board Chair, Hon Paul Swain, is standing down at the end of June this year having served two terms in the role.

In June, Paul will be sharing his reflections on the formation of Fire and Emergency and we will more formally thank and farewell him then too.

The Government will announce our new Chair in due course.

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