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People at a cementary
Volunteers came together from across Aotearoa with a mission to restore memorials of past service men and women during the 2022 ANZAC weekend. This initiative is called Restore to Remember and it is a joint initiative by the New Zealand Remembrance Army (NZRA) and Student Volunteer Army (SVA).

Small teams of students and NZRA supervisors, along with volunteers from organisations (including Bunnings), cleaned and cleared selected cemeteries for fallen soldiers.

Restore to Remember is about ensuring that our past service peoples’ contribution to New Zealand is not forgotten,” said Simon Strombom, CEO of the NZRA. “It’s about our communities coming together for ANZAC Day and reconnecting with each other and a shared history.

It's also about students using their collective elbow grease for a cause that’s meaningful for many New Zealanders,” Simon added.

Around 700 volunteers took part at 25 grave sites throughout Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin, Taranaki and Hawkes Bay.

The NZRA estimates there are More than 350,000 service graves in New Zealand, spanning every conflict ranging from the New Zealand Wars to Korea, Malaya, Vietnam and Afghanistan. Over the past three years, the NZRA and SVA have restored 90,000 graves, working towards having all sites restored nationwide.

I'd like to thank the people and organisations behind this project who have made it possible, including the teachers, students and volunteers who have given up their time freely to do the work in cemeteries across the country. Veterans' groups have also given their collective support, including the Onwards Bar, SSANZs, Te Kiwi Maia, Patriots, the team from Bunnings and other agencies,” Simon said.

It is an honour for our team to take part in Restore to Remember and contribute towards the cleaning of the graves of New Zealand’s war heroes,” said Ben Camire, Director of Bunnings New Zealand. “We commend the NZRA and the SVA for the great work they are doing in the memory of those who sacrificed so much for this country.”

Bunnings donated cleaning supplies for volunteers who were working to clear the graves and memorial sites; Team Members also helped with the clean-up on the day.

Visit NZ Remembrance Army