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An Anzac Day fly-past over Auckland that has been blocked from happening during Level 4 should be allowed to go ahead, National’s Veterans spokesperson Anne Tolley says.

“With traditional Anzac Day commemorations hampered this year, the Auckland RSA had arranged for five warbirds to fly over the greater Auckland area at 8am and 11am, culminating with a smoke trail over the Auckland Cenotaph.

“Sadly, the RSA was told by the Ministry of Transport that the fly-past was considered too risky during Level 4 restrictions, even though safety concerns could be managed.

“It’s ridiculous to suggest this fly-past carries the same risk as someone going surfing or mountain biking during lockdown. We’re talking about professional pilots who follow strict safety protocols. They won’t struggle to maintain social distancing from their cockpits.

“This is incredibly disappointing given it’s the second year in a row our Anzac Day has been impacted after the Christchurch mosque attack saw many services scaled back.

“Anzac Day has a special place in the hearts of all Kiwis and the RSA is really feeling this year’s cancellation. They just wanted to do something to acknowledge those who have served our country and provide a special treat for the young people who have embraced Anzac Day in greater numbers over the years.

“The Government could grant an exception for this fly-past to happen during Level 4, which is due to end two days later anyway. I would urge them to reconsider this.”

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