Rural remembrance events face cancellation over police staffing

3:42 pm on 28 March 2019

Rural communities may need to call off their National Remembrance Service events following concerns police resources cannot handle the additional pressure.

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Tributes left for the victims of the Christchurch mosque terror attacks. Photo: Recep Sakar/ Anadolu Agency/ AFP

Gore District Council issued an urgent message today that it was cancelling its event.

The council had planned to invite the people of Gore to a local theatre to watch the TV broadcast of the national service at Hagley Park.

Gore District mayor Tracy Hicks said that would not be happening after advice from police.

"We have been advised that nationally, rural areas are being asked to consider cancelling any public events relating to the National Remembrance Service," Mr Hicks said.

The reason for the request was that police resources throughout the country were and continued to be stretched, he said.

The Clutha District Council confirmed it will still host a civic remembrance service at Balclutha on Thursday night.

Further north, the Far North District Council has also cut back on official gatherings tomorrow to remember victims of the Christchurch mosque attacks.

The Council had planned to hold seven events across the district, so communities could watch a live broadcast of the National Remembrance Serviceand join together in prayer and song.

But it has reduced that to just one service in Kerikeri, after discussions with the police.

Mayor John Carter said police were concerned about security and wanted to concentrate their resources on one event .

The service at the Turner Centre in Kerikeri will go ahead as planned with doors open at 9am. A live broadcast of the service at Hagley Park in Christchurch will be shown on-screen from 10am.

The council said the decision did not affect any remembrance events that community groups were planning.

Police have been contacted to confirm what advice has been give to rural communities.

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