Ladies and Gentlemen I greet you in the languages of the realm of New Zealand English, Maori, Cook Island Maori, Niuean and Tokelauan:- Kia Ora, Kia Orana, Fakalofa Lahi Atu, Taloha Ni
In particular may I acknowledge you, Minister of Veterans Affairs Hon Rick Barker, Your Worship Mayor of Auckland, Dick Hubbard, You Gary Walker President of the RSA, Judith Collins and Rodney Hide, MP, all of those who have worked on making today happen, Veterans, Ladies and Gentlemen, Girls and Boys.
I join the sentiments that have already been expressed and wish to add four things.
First it was about a hundred years ago that our country moved beyond from being a colony to an individual nation.
Secondly just a few years later came the First World War and the losses of people began to wreak havoc on our community.
Thirdly it was 90 years ago in 1916 that an association was formed for the care and welfare of those who had returned from first Gallipoli and then other sites of battle and bloodshed. This was the RSA.
Fourthly it seems entirely appropriate that 90 years on that there should be a Year of the Veteran and that it might be acknowledged in a number of places around the country.
I am pleased to add best wishes to that legacy in a small way this afternoon.