Cancellations of Anzac Day services in Auckland

I have mixed feelings about the cancellations and consolidations of Anzac Day services. If the Police have genuine concerns about security and what levels of protection they can provide then there may be some justification, but we should as much as possible resist letting the Christchurch mosque attacks affect our normal lives and events.

Most of the cancellations seem to be in Auckland.

Stuff: 58 Anzac Day services cancelled in Auckland, but services across rest of country will go ahead

Two-thirds of Auckland’s Anzac Day services have been canned in the wake of the Christchurch mosque shootings.

There would be just 26 services across the region, down from 84 in 2018, Auckland Council said on Tuesday evening.

Decisions to cancel or consolidate services had been made following discussions with the police and the Returned and Services Association.

Police Superintendent Kathryn Malthus said there was “no information to suggest a specific risk to public safety at this time”.

So are some people being over-cautious or overreacting?

However, the Returned and Services Association’s headquarters in Wellington was unaware of any services outside Auckland being cancelled.

RSA marketing and communications manager Shane Wratt said safety and security had been discussed with police nationwide.

However, Auckland was a “different beast” due to its population and the number of small services that took place on Anzac Day, Wratt said.

With a lot of small services it makes it easier to combine some of them.

RSAs running smaller services were told it may not be possible to have police coverage and it was recommended they consolidate services with ones that were nearby, he said.

“We’ve been in conversations with police for some time and we’ve had collaborative conversations – we’re talking to experts who are giving us their opinions – but it’s up to RSAs to make the call,” Wratt said.

Wratt believed Auckland RSAs were taking a “sensible approach” to Anzac Day events as the most important thing was for people to feel safe, he said.

“It’s a different world.”

In Auckland anyway. ironically, Christchurch Anzac Day services seem to be largely unaffected.

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  1. duperez

     /  10th April 2019

    My pick is that in normal times there are many more services in Auckland and so logically likely to be more affected by cancellations and combining.

    • Duker

       /  10th April 2019

      Plus Police in Auckland are more stretched for resources since Auckland has a lot of mosques which still have protection. In the part of the isthmus Im in around there are 3.
      Plus of course its easier to consolidate Auckland Anzac day services to ones that are fairly reachable for many.

  2. David

     /  10th April 2019

    I wonder if its an over reaction or the RSA were after a consolidation of services and used this as cover. It was a remarkably high number of services in Auckland.

  3. Gezza

     /  10th April 2019

    Well, we have a little local one in Tawa that always involves a parade, a pipe band participation by uniformed scouts/cubs, war veterans (fewer every year) many members of the public & their children who wish to join it, following the vets, Defence, Police, & Fire Services personnel, & an interdenominational Christian religious rememberance service with drummer, bugler, flag lowering & raising, at the local, modern war memorial in a park, followed by attendees going home or to the RSA hall, nearby.

    I’ll be interested to see whether that happens this year, & whether the services personnel & police attend or are absent as required more heavily elsewhere.

    During the height of the security risk following the Christchurch mass murderer’s rampage there was little evidence of a police presence at all the local schools I drove past, although I did see one sole policewoman driving into a Catholic primary school in a marked police cruiser one afternoon on my way home from lunch at ma’s place.

    And I noticed four police officers, males & a female, getting out of their car, & a couple putting on their stab-proof vests, outside a Catholic church (just that there was coincidentally an empty main road car park available there, possibly), as I rounded a roundabout.

    I had to keep driving around & down the street, cos in traffic, but I looked quickly at their middles for arms & saw nothing that looked like holsters. No bushmasters. So I dunno whether they were armed. We have a very small number of Muslims here, but no mosque.

    Although it’s never being mentioned by security services – the situation is too raw & sensitive – it would be foolish not to think that the high level of threat being managed / mitigated includes the risk of a revenge attack by an outraged Islamic fanatic.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  10th April 2019

      We have a largish number of Muslims, but I haven’t noticed extra police.

      I do think it’s a bit of an over-reaction, really.

  4. harryk

     /  10th April 2019

    ‘politicians will rush around closing every stable door for their own butt protection’ [Allan W from the Media Watch Tuesday thread]

    This was originally a reply to Allan W.

    Politicians including Ms Ardern may boast of intuition, they can certainly intuit where the votes are. Not so much where the National Interest lies, where they require advice from specialists. As do rugby fans, who should not be left to make ordinary name change decisions in such extraordinary circumstances where the National Interest is engaged.

    Hamming says that the volume of Islamist propaganda generated by Christchurch is close to the greatest he’s monitored related to any single event. That is a big and significant statement, and a story in itself. But Why? What reasons have AQ and militant Islamists to focus so much effort on Christchurch?
    1/Tactical. Revenge attacks serve …
    2/ Strategy. The AQ strategic goal has been to force foreign military from the core Arab lands. In OBL’s day that meant the US and her allies, which includes NZ. Russian has since re-entered the field. The Islamists may view NZ as a dangly unreliable part of the alliance, more easily pressured than the others.

    Ms Ardern is correct to limit the circulation the the Christchurch perp’s thoughts. However, her relentless self promotion with such an orgy of commemoration upon commemoration, where a single low profile State ceremony would and should have sufficed, has served to amplify the international publicity, and as Trump often says, all publicity is good publicity. That goes for the Islamists too. Ardern has focused exclusively on the white supremacist threat and ignored the greater threat from the Islamists. The greater the volume of propaganda generated by Christchurch, the greater the chance of it generating a response.

    Mar 26
    Rarely have I seen such amount of Jihadi propaganda output as in relation to the #Christchurch massacre in New Zealand. Here is a few examples:

    • Gezza

       /  10th April 2019

      I’ve found a couple of your posts on this kind of topic lately really confusing. I haven’t been able to clearly separate what is your own commentary & what is commentary from others named.

      I’m puzzled by that one, for example. Are you – yourself – saying Ardern is overdoing talking about the further white supremacist terrorist attack threat & downplaying mention a heightened risk now of a revenge Islamist terrorist attack?

      Can you maybe make it clearer in future with “quotation marks” and better visible association of the name when you are citing comments from others?

      • Gezza

         /  10th April 2019

        *downplaying, by not mentioning, a heightened risk now of a revenge Islamist terrorist attack? Correction, for clarification, sorry.

        • harryk

           /  10th April 2019

          ‘a heightened risk now of a revenge Islamist terrorist attack’

          Gezza. There are two potential threats. White supremacist and Islamist. Ms Ardern moved quickly and in my opinion correctly to address the former by denying oxygen to the perp, but again in my opinion the prolonged and unecessary public grieving process may have unintentionally given too much international publicity to the event and thus oxygen to Islamist propagandists, increasing the latter threat. This is one possible conclusion to draw from Mr Hamming’s statement quoted below –

          “Rarely have I seen such amount of Jihadi propaganda output as in relation to the Christchurch massacre in New Zealand.”

      • harryk

         /  10th April 2019

        ‘Can you maybe make it clearer in future with “quotation marks” and better visible association of the name when you are citing comments from others?’

        Apologies. In the above post I have pasted from Mr Hamming’s Twitter feed without inserting punctuation marks. I had thought it would be clear to readers and I was wrong. In a previous post on the Media Watch Tuesday thread I’ve quoted from a piece Mr Hamming linked to and have used the punctuation marks ‘…’.

        I have used two of Mr Hammings Tweets [26 and 28 March] on which to inform my commentary. I haven’t linked to his Twitter feed, leaving that to interested readers to pursue themselves.

    • Norman Grey

       /  10th April 2019

      I wonder if we are being told everything that the Police know. The Police attendance at ANZAC occasions seems very hard to understand.
      Many people are regular attenders at these remembrances, grateful for the sacrifices that have been made, especially if family members were involved.
      Now to have this avoidance of complete honesty from those in authority of all they know is
      causing considerable angst and concern.
      We’re out of nappies now and deserve to be told the full truth of what the Police know.

      • Mother

         /  10th April 2019

        The Police are highly secretive. From what I’ve seen, they also have succumbed to a strange spirituality.

        We’re not yet out of nappies. Still learning to talk without resorting to tantrums.

        The nicest, most ordinary and thinking Police individuals of leadership material don’t stay.

      • harryk

         /  10th April 2019

        ‘… deserve to be told the full truth of what the Police know’

        And just as importantly, what they don’t know. The kingsmen in your Intelligence agencies didn’t exactly cover themselves in glory preventing the Christchurch attack, their personnel and methods will be much the same now as then, cancelling ANZAC Day events could be interpreted as an honest admission that what they don’t know is more concerning than what they presently do know. From an Australian perspective, I would hope that your Intelligence agencies aren’t constrained from making changes until after Ms Ardern’s promised Royal Commission/review. In the interim we should perhaps reflect that one month is not much time for your agencies to improve their sourcing and performance, even given clearer tasking from the Minister/s responsible. Working on the Precautionary Principle, cancellations are perhaps the best response in the circumstances, not an over-reaction as some readers are suggesting. A better guide to the confidence your Govt has in it’s intelligence will be ANZAC Day 2020 not 2019.

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  10th April 2019

          I doubt your last sentence. A year on immediacy will have passed and our usual sense of security will have returned. That’s all next year’s events will show.

          I don’t expect intelligence agencies will ever securely protect against lone wolf attacks. The Royal Commission will presumably analyze and recommend accordingly.

          I think censorship has foolishly lost the best chance to discourage future attacks by subjecting these addled beliefs to scathing public exposure and criticism.

  5. Zedd

     /  10th April 2019

    IF they allowed the RSA to provide their own ‘local militia’ (Sgt at arms & other comm. officers) they dont need armed cops at every event.. just the big ones

    ‘Dads Army’

    .. just saying…

    • Zedd

       /  10th April 2019

      allow some (3-4) to carry loaded weapons; trained ex-military officers (devolution) 🙂

  6. NOEL

     /  10th April 2019

    I’m considering attending one of the closed one’s.
    No boring religious cleric and their hymns, politically edged or long winded speeches, Australian anthem during non reciprocation of the SCV and fellow Veterans who want to get a beef down before the guard has comp!ed their role.

    Just a simple reflection on those who died.


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