Aucklanders threaten to organise rogue Anzac Day services in face of police cancellations

Upset Devonport residents are discussing plans to go ahead with their Anzac plans despite services throughout the country being cancelled for safety concerns.

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In 2018 there were almost 90 services, this year there’ll be less than 30. Source: 1 NEWS

Due to the "high" terrorist threat level following the Christchurch shootings on March 15, the joint decision was made by police, Auckland City Council and the RSA to reduce the services from almost 90 to 26.

People have taken to Facebook to voice their anger, with several making plans to boycott the larger services that are still planned in lieu of rogue local events.

"I'm bloody appalled ... We should turn out en masse anyway and not be dictated to in this manner. Where's our spirit, our history and our place in NZ's military history," one person wrote on Facebook.

"So gunman wins again ... we should all turn out in mass and remember the real heroes. This is getting out of hand," another responded.

Devonport-Takapuna Community Board member Grant Gillon told 1 NEWS today people were "naturally disappointed", so he took one last pledge to have police and the council reconsider having a service or parade in the ward.

But he's already received a response from both saying they still won't go ahead.

"People are very grumpy and they haven't really been given a strong reason," he said. "I think that's one of the problems - they are speculating."

The speculation into why the events were cancelled is "unhelpful", Mr Gillon added. Instead, he said he is focused on encouraging people to attend other services and drop a poppy at their local memorial during the day to pay respects.

Transport is being organised for people to attend other Auckland services. The closest for Devonport locals is in Brown's Bay.

When asked if he was concerned about rogue local services held against police advice, Mr Gillon said he wasn't. 

"I've got great faith in communal common sense," he said. 

People in the community have said the police decision "promoted fear" and security fears were "just an excuse to stop the services going ahead".

Community board member Jennifer McKenzie told angry locals she shared their emotions.

"I’m sorry all," she wrote. "I share your disappointment and personally am very angry and disappointed."

Meanwhile, others are respecting the advice from police. One commenter responded: "I have people to remember who gave their lives in more recent conflict and I will be doing so in a way within the guidelines that the police have set out - they haven't made this decision on a whim."

Another added: "It’s not about 'refusing to buckle'- it’s about supporting our police force to do the job they train for, hoping never to have to put into action, keeping all occupants of this country safe in a heightened security state."

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