“The ACT Party is this evening welcoming the Chief of Defence showing some common sense and allowing Defence personnel to attend ANZAC Day commemorations,” says ACT’s Veterans spokesperson Nicole McKee.

“As I said at the time the decision was made, it was offensive to our veterans who have fought for our country for them to be snubbed by our servicing forces. It was clear this was a decision made by bureaucrats, rather than the personnel themselves.

“It is once a year where we commemorate those that fought for us to live in a free and democratic society.

“I understood the concerns of NZDF for our elderly and vulnerable, they can easily be mitigated by NZDF. After all - they’ve been practicing that at MIQ for the past two years.

“ANZAC day is also for New Zealanders to show their support for those currently serving.

“I hope Defence Minister Peeni Henare and Veterans Minister Meka Whatitiri encouraged the Chief of Defence to reverse his decision.

“This is a hugely important day for our veterans and all New Zealanders and I’m pleased we’re showing our veterans the respect they deserve. Lest we forget.”