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The 7am dawn service at the newly-renovated war memorial on the Lake Hawea peninsula attracted more than 600 people.
Guest speaker was Lieutenant Emma Pickering, supply officer on HMNZS Otago.
At the same time as the Hawea commemorations, several thousand people gathered on Wanaka's lakefront for the town's inaugural dawn service, featuring guest speaker HMNZS Otago executive officer Lieutenant Nathan Vink.
He also spoke at the 9.30am civic service at the Lake Wanaka Centre and recalled New Zealanders' ''multiple concepts of identity'' - particularly in provincial terms - during World War 1, which was reflected in the organisation of the country's expeditionary forces.
''Gallilopi threw those disparate provincial groups together ... servicemen developed a national consciousness and became New Zealanders first and foremost and Aucklanders, Nelsonians or Cantabrians second.''
Mount Aspiring College pupils Katherine Millis and John Steven (both 17) also spoke during the civic service, reading the roll of honour.
Katherine said young people today lived with the privilege of never truly knowing the definition of war.
''We as an age-group have been protected from those experiences by people whose faces we have not seen and pain we have not felt.''
John paid tribute to his great-great-uncle who kept a journal and carried it in his shirt pocket during the war. Inherited by John's family, the journal had a hole through it ''made by the bullet that took his life''.
After the civic service, a parade marched to the Chalmers St cenotaph for the wreath-laying.
The Australian national anthem was sung at all Upper Clutha services and three Tiger Moths flew overhead.