“A decision by the Chief of Defence to order enlisted personnel not to attend ANZAC Day commemorations is offensive to our veterans,” says ACT’s veterans spokesperson Nicole McKee.

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

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

“Personnel could do RAT testing before and practice distancing at the events while still being there to show their respect.

“Mandates are being eased, 96 per cent of the population is vaccinated and all of the defence force is vaccinated- they were mandated to do so. If they can’t attend the commemorations, what was the point?

“ANZAC day is also for New Zealanders to show their support for those currently serving. We don't want them to hide away in their camps.

“Defence Minister Peeni Henare and Veterans Minister Meka Whatitiri should be calling in Defence for a please explain.

“This is a hugely important day for our veterans and all New Zealanders. Lest we forget.”