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Bomb threat kept from dawn service crowd

10:30 Wed Apr 25 2012
AAP
Prime Minister John Key (C) attends the ANZAC Day Dawn Service around the Cenotaph at the Auckland (Getty)
Prime Minister John Key (C) attends the ANZAC Day Dawn Service around the Cenotaph at the Auckland (Getty)

About 15,000 people who gathered in darkness in Auckland to remember those who lost their lives for their country on Anzac Day were unaware of a bomb threat at the commemorations.

A "non-specific" threat regarding the service at the Auckland War Memorial Museum was made in a phone call to police on Tuesday, Inspector Ian Brooker confirmed to NZ Newswire.

However, "the normal precautions that we take with any major event [were] sufficient that it didn't need to be taken further".

The crowd, which included Prime Minister John Key and Auckland Mayor Len Brown, dozens of veterans from World War II and other conflicts, Defence Force personnel and crew members of the Australian Navy frigate HMAS Newcastle, was not aware of the threat when it began to gather at 5am.

Insp Brooker was unable to say whether police were able to trace the threatening phone call.

Mr Brown told those gathered at the service that "at this hour on this day Anzac received its baptism of fire and becomes one of the immortal names in history".

Mr Brown laid a wreath at the base of the Cenotaph and later in the service was accompanied by a New Zealand and a Turkish student when he planted a cross in the Field of Remembrance.

An air force Hercules flew over to mark the end of the service.

St John Ambulance staff reported a largely incident-free morning although a middle-aged woman collapsed with a suspected heart problem and was taken to hospital.