23 April 2020
Otago Civil Defence Group Controller Richard Saunders is asking Otago residents to dig deep this Anzac weekend and put the needs of Otago before themselves.
“Anzac Day is a time to reflect on the huge sacrifices made by thousands of servicemen and women for our country,” said Mr Saunders.
“While the sacrifices we have been asked to make over the past few weeks pale in comparison to those made by our Anzacs, they do share a collective character – a huge team effort pulling in one direction.
“We’ve all learned a bit about being part of a nationwide project with a common goal. The best way we can honour our servicemen and women this weekend is by maintaining our own collective effort.”
“By staying in our bubble we’ve made great progress in stopping transmission of the virus, but the job’s not finished yet.
“I know everyone’s minds are turning to next week and being able to dust off the surfboard or mountain bike. However, the Level 4 restrictions are still in place and for good reason, and I urge everyone to continue to put the needs of Otago and New Zealand first.”
Civil defence and Southern Police cautioned anyone who was tempted to ignore the rules that they would not only be letting down Otago they would also be risking arrest.
“Police checkpoints across Otago will continue over the weekend and enforcement action remains an option for anyone caught flouting the Level 4 rules,” said Southern District Commander Paul Basham
Mr Saunders encouraged Otago to start their weekend by commemorating Anzac Day and getting behind the RSA and New Zealand Defence Forces’ Stand at Dawn campaign.
“Take a moment to remember our fallen by standing at 6:00 am on Saturday 25 April at your letterbox, front door, lounge room, balcony or driveway and mark this occasion. Although we may not be physically together, let’s show our solidarity Otago.”