Remembrance, appreciation and change

Published on 12 April 2021

Photo of Mayor, Sheryl Mai.

Anzac dawn parade 

One of the greatest honours of being Mayor is attending the Returned and Services Association Anzac dawn parade.

Every year I am impressed by the mana of the dawn ceremony, where the welling of emotion and gratitude for those who sacrificed their lives never fails to raise goose bumps. The horrors and hardships of Gallipoli are things ensuing generations can only imagine.

Last year, thanks to lockdown, was the first time in 105 years that we couldn’t gather together in our communities to recognise, remember and pay our respects to our fallen soldiers.

We stood alone, or in our family bubbles, at the ends of our driveways, by our mailboxes or on our front doorsteps at dawn, listening to the ceremony on our radios. It was a strange feeling, and one I’ll never forget.

There was something surreal about the view from my mailbox, seeing the dark shapes of my neighbours standing quietly, collectively observing the dawn ceremony in solitude and silence.

While the 2020 Anzac ceremony was unique, this year I’m very happy to be paying my respects amongst friends, family, colleagues and community members once more. It will be special to once again experience the poignant silence of a gathered crowd.

Civic Honours awards

In the spirit of recognising those who have given selflessly, Whangarei District Council is calling for nominations for the 2021 Civic Honours Awards. This is an opportunity to recognise and honour those who have made a significant contribution to the community wellbeing of Whangārei District, bettering their neighbourhoods, communities, or those in need.

A Civic Honour is our highest award for outstanding voluntary service to the community, with only a small number of Civic Honours being awarded each year.

If you know someone in your community who has given selflessly of their time and energy to help others, please let us know either by:

  • finding the nomination form on the Civic Honours page, or
  • by contacting our friendly Customer Services team in person at Forum North or Ruakaka, or
  • by phone: 09 430 4200

This is our chance to acknowledge those who have supported others, it’s a wonderful thing to do and for many people, is the only recognition they may receive. Your nomination could make all the difference.

Civic Honours

2021 Representation Review 

Council is also busy right now with our 2021 Representation Review, triggered by the recent decision to establish Māori wards.

Every Wednesday throughout April 2021, Council staff will be at the Central Library from 11:00am - 12:00pm giving out information booklets and informal surveys, with a permanent display giving more information for those who miss the drop-in times.

Library Drop In Sessions 

The review looks at how many councillors we should have for the 2022 and 2025 elections, how many wards we should have and whether councillors should be elected by ward, or at large. We will also look at what communities people identify with most and whether we should have community boards.

This is a great opportunity to give us your feedback on how you’d like to be represented, so please stop in, have a chat and let us know how you feel. You can also read more and fill out the survey on our Council website:

Representation Review

I hope to see many of you on Sunday 25 April 2021, either joining the 5:45am parade from the Returned and Services Association, 16 Hannah Street, or at the Cenotaph in Laurie Hall Park for the service itself at 6:00am.

Ka maumahara tonu tātou ki a rātou. Lest we forget.

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