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Heightened security for Anzac Day

Tinui Anzac service in 2015. PHOTO/FILE

GIANINA SCHWANECKE
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Security will be tightened at Tinui’s Anzac service this year, with an armed police presence expected in response to the country’s terror threat level, which remains high after the Christchurch mosque attacks.

Tinui has long been heralded as having held the first Anzac Day memorial service for those killed during the Gallipoli campaign more than 100 years ago.

Traditionally, it involves an Anzac service and parade, followed by a morning tea and walk up historic Mt Maunsell to the Tinui Anzac Cross.

Tinui Anzac Trust chairman Alan Emerson, who is organising this year’s event, said the trust had been working closely with police to ensure that appropriate security measures were in place for the event.

“[Locals and international visitors] have always taken part in the ceremony and it’s been great to see them there.

“We’ve only had massive support and we don’t expect any disruptions,” he said.

More than 1500 people attended last year’s service and Emerson said it had “grown exponentially” in recent years.

“It’s absolutely a credit to the Tinui community that it’s still running.”

Wairarapa area response manager Senior Sergeant Jennifer Hansen said the heightened police presence wouldn’t just be at the Tinui service.

“The same precautions are being taken for any services in the area and around the country. It will be at all Anzac services,” she said.

While a police attendance at Anzac services is not an uncommon sight, they would be there in an official capacity this year, and it was likely some would be armed. Hansen said police didn’t want to discourage people from attending and wanted instead to provide a measure of assurance.

“There’s heightened security. We’re there so people can pay their respects and feel safe doing so,” she said.

Plans for this year’s Anzac service at Tinui are progressing well and include Brigadier Hugh McAslan as a speaker.

As the commander of One Brigade, McAslan facilitated the attachment of East Coast Troop Queen Alexandra’s Mounted Rifles, to Anzac at Tinui, with soldiers working to weatherproof the track which leads to the cross.

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