24 Apr 2014

Anzac Day importance stressed

7:40 pm on 24 April 2014

The public is being told it's more important than ever to remember the sacrifices of Maori this Anzac Day.

More than 2,000 Maori served in the Native Contingent and Pioneer Battalion in the First World War.

In the Second World War the casualty rate in the Maori Battalion was 50 percent higher than the average of other infantry battalions.

The Returned and Services Association representative for Maori ex-services personnel Guv Gray says he is the only Maori at his local branch of New Plymouth.

This year he's the parade commander and says his aim is for more public interaction so more Maori turn up to the city's services.

He says this year is the last chance to get services running smoothly before next year's centenary commemorations.

Attending the New Plymouth service with him with will be the commanding officer and some crew from the Navy tanker HMNZS Endeavour.