In my role as the MP for Selwyn, Anzac Day is normally a very busy day for me. Over the past 12 years I have attended Anzac Day commemorations around our district including those held at Burnham, Lincoln, Rolleston and Templeton.
The necessity of cancelling official Anzac Day services as a result of Covid-19 is obvious, particularly given the real vulnerability of those of advanced years and with pre-existing health conditions to this illness.
In spite of this, it will still be important for many people here in Selwyn and around New Zealand to honour all our returned servicemen and women and those who made the ultimate sacrifice to ensure our safety and security. Some online services are being planned and the RSA has proposed that this year instead of attending a dawn service, all New Zealanders may like to go down to their gates to stand and observe one minute’s silence at 6am.
I think this is something many people in Selwyn would support as it is a way of demonstrating our solidarity and respect, despite the current circumstances. In cases where it is not possible to go down to your front gate because it is either too far away or it is a shared driveway and maintaining physical distancing would not be possible, you may like to observe the one minute’s silence from your front door or remain indoors and do so.
On a more sinister note, I have received reports of telephone scams targeting vulnerable people by offering to do their grocery shopping if they provide their credit card details so please be vigilant. If you need help with accessing essential services such as shopping, there are genuine organisations that can help, so please get in touch with my office and we will assist you.