After an Anzac Day hit by low attendance from Covid-19 Auckland Returned Service Association has received a $25,000 grant from Auckland Council.
Auckland RSA president Graham Gibson wrote to council appealing for support.
“Our collection on Anzac Day suffered dramatically. We collected only $1224 this year compared to 2021’s $9418,” Gibson wrote.
He put the low collections down to a lack of foot traffic on Queen Street, Covid restriction and confusion from the public around whether they were able to attend Anzac events.
The collections were the main means Auckland RSA support veterans and their families Gibson said.
At the Governing Body meeting on June 23 councillors unanimously supported the grant.
Mayor Phil Goff said Auckland RSA had both local and regional responsibilities.
“Because of the peculiar nature of Covid-19 the Auckland RSA was considerably underfunded,” Goff said.
“On Anzac Day because so many services and parades were cancelled we significantly under-spent our budget which would typically go to our acknowledgement of our veterans.”
Head of Events David Burt said because of Covid there was an under-spend of $50,000 which could be re-appropriated.
“Anzac Day was a very difficult one this year; because of Covid, attendance was down. The poppy day appeal was also significantly down,” Burt said.
Annual collection for Auckland RSA was $53,000 in 2022; close to half of the $100,000 Auckland RSA collects annually.