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Mayor Helen's Anzac Day Speech

A copy of Mayor Helen Worboy's speech from this morning's Anzac Day service that was held in Feilding.

Tēnā koutou katoa, Nau mai Haere mai

As your Mayor and on behalf of Manawatū District Council, it is my priviledge to welcome you all to today’s Anzac Day service.

Today we commemorate our brave Anzac soldiers who have fought and served New Zealand. Let us remember and honour all those who served and are still serving. It’s humbling to see so many people here to pay their respects to those who gave their lives for the freedom we enjoy today, and show your support for our people who continue to serve our country today.

We also gather here to honour our Australian brothers and sisters, who we have fought alongside throughout our history. We have great respect for one another and I’d like to welcome any Australians that are here with us for this service.

The Manawatū holds a special significance for our Defence Force, being the home of Base Ōhakea, and a short distance from nearby Linton Military Camp. Manawatū is where many of our service men and women call home, and we wish to recognise the contribution that these people have to our district and the wider community.

I’d venture to say that almost everyone in our district has a connection to the defence force in someway. You may know of someone who served through your own family connections, or you know someone who has served or is serving through community connections, be it sport, cultural or music groups, community organisations, even to your kids going to school with a child who’s from a military family.

There’s no escaping the influence that the New Zealand Defence Force has on our community, and we’d like to offer our thanks and gratitude for all that you do for us.

We’re living in challenging times. The ongoing invasion of Ukraine is still impacting us on the otherside of the world, even though we’re far removed from the conflict. Several New Zealanders have made their way to Ukraine to help fight off the invasion, or even to offer up humaintary assistance to those who are suffering.

It’s our nature to help those who are in need. To take a stand alongside those who wish to defend themselves. We’ve done this as a country all through our modern history, and it makes me incredibly proud to be a New Zealander.

These services help to keep the memory of those who have died alive. They give us a chance to hear their stories, find out about the people they cared about, and importantly, who it was that they lived and died for.

I think that we’re incredibly lucky to have such amazing people willing to stand and serve for us. That people have been prepared to sacrifice themselves for the benefit of others. All I can say is thank you. Thank you for all that you have done and continue to do.

No reira, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tātou katoa.