A Katikati war veteran of the North Africa Campaign is off to Egypt to mark the 70th anniversary of the Battle of El Alamein.
Regi Frew, 91, of Katikati and 23 other veterans from around the country, aged between 88 and 96, will travel to El Alamein in October as part of the official New Zealand delegation.
The group will attend a New Zealand National Ceremony to mark the anniversary on October 19, and an International Commemoration Service the following day.
Both ceremonies will take place at the Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery in El Alamein.
During the North African Campaign almost 10,000 New Zealanders were killed or wounded. More than 4,000 others became prisoners of war.
More than 1100 New Zealanders are buried in the El Alamein Commonwealth War Graves cemetery _the largest number of New Zealanders buried in one cemetery outside New Zealand.
Veterans' Affairs New Zealand general manager, Rick Ottaway said he was delighted that 24 veterans were set to travel to Egypt for the commemorations.
"These are brave men who have some incredible stories to tell from their time serving in the North Africa campaign,'' he said.
"Many of them have vivid memories of their time there, and for most it will be an incredibly emotional experience.''
"I'm delighted we can give them the opportunity to return to the country where they served as young men, and pay tribute to their comrades who did not return home with them.''
To be eligible to be part of the delegation, each veteran was required to have served in the North Africa Campaign and been awarded the Africa Star.
The New Zealand Defence Force said almost fifty expressions of interest were received, however thirteen applications were subsequently withdrawn by veterans after they reconsidered their ability to make the journey.
The delegation will travel to El Alamein by Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) Boeing 757.
All international travel, accommodation, on-ground transport, and medical costs for veterans are being funded by Veterans' Affairs New Zealand.