While digging out the poppy that graces our banner this weekend, I also dug out this bit of history from nzhistory.net.nz.
Anzac Day notice, New Zealand Gazette, 1, 1916, p. 977
Observances respecting Anzac Day.
Prime Minister’s Office,
Wellington, 5th April, 1916.
I Hereby notify, for public information, that the Government have decided to observe a half-holiday, commencing at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, the 25th April, in commemoration of ‘Anzac Day,’ and I shall be glad if the Mayors of all cities and boroughs, the Chairmen of County Councils and Town Boards, as well as other local bodies, as far as their districts are concerned, will similarly observe the day in remembrance of the notable deeds performed by the Australians and our brave New Zealand soldiers on that memorable and historical occasion.
2. It is specially fitting that on this occasion special services of public worship be held by all religious denominations, and I therefore appeal to all ministers of religion and all congregations to hold such services on behalf of the people of the Dominion at such hours during the forenoon or afternoon as are found convenient.
3. The New Zealand Ensign will be displayed on all public buildings in the Dominion from sunrise to sunset.
4. It is requested that the managers and representatives of shipping companies should direct that all ships in the various harbours display their flags during that day.
5. The Government is of opinion that the day should not be marked by the holding of sports or similar forms of entertainment. It is considered, however, that the occasion is particularly one upon which opportunity should be taken for all recruiting bodies and others to arrange patriotic meetings for the evening, not only to commemorate the anniversary, but also with a view to assisting the recruiting campaign, the question of how this may best be done being left entirely to the discretion of those immediately concerned.
W. F. MASSEY.
Point 5 particularly intrigued me.