Kei aku Mana Whakaruruhau
Tena koutou Ngāti Tūmatauenga.
Mihi mai, karanga mai, e te wāhanga taiwhenua,
o Te Ope Kātua, o Aotearoa.
E koa ana ahau ki te haramai nei i tenei rangi.
[Greetings to you my Authority of Protection.
Greetings Ngati Tūmatauenga.
I acknowledge the invitation from the NZ Army, the land based section of the NZ Defence Force.
I am very pleased to be here today.]
I acknowledge Major General John Boswell, Chief of Army;
Mr Lenisiloti Sitaafooti 'Aho, Consul for the Tongan Consulate;
Australian Defence Advisor, Captain Christine Clarke
and Papua New Guinea Defence Advisor, Colonel Albert Palauva;
Other distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.
I offer my congratulations to the graduates of the New Zealand Commissioning Course for successfully completing your course of training. Today is indeed a significant rite of passage for you all.
The training regime for officers presents significant physical and mental challenges.
You have learned new subjects and developed core military skills. You have learned to lead in an austere environment that can present particular challenges.
You have learned that leadership is a privilege that requires you, at times, to put others before yourselves.
And you can look forward now to serving in many of the overseas missions to which the NZDF is committed, and training with our friends and allies.
You will experience involvement with international participants on exercise, in the South Pacific and here in New Zealand, where you may be working other agencies, such as New Zealand Customs, Police, District Health Boards, Red Cross, St Johns or local Civil Defence.
As part of Government response to earthquakes and floods, you may be mobilised to provide support.
When you are helping your fellow citizens at times of tragedy and despair, you will remember why you wanted to become an Officer of the New Zealand Army.
Your presence on parade today shows that you have what it takes to last the distance.
It shows that you have accepted the challenge of maintaining the Army’s reputation and professional standards; that you understand the need for high personal discipline; and that you are willing to live your life in accord with the Army’s values.
You are joining the Army at an exciting time, and I wish you all the best as you advance to professional training in your chosen Corps.
I trust you will look back on your time here at the Officer Cadet School with pride and satisfaction. The skills you have learned and the life-long friendships you have made will stand you in good stead in the years ahead.
To families and friends here today, you can be proud of our new officers’ success, knowing that your support has helped them reach the finishing line.
This is your day as well as theirs, and you must be delighted to join them in the celebrations today.
Finally I acknowledge the training staff, who through their work, shoulder the significant responsibilities of determining the nature and ethos of the Army in the years ahead.
Thank you for your dedication and your commitment.
To all on parade, I hope you enjoy the holiday season and return refreshed and ready to meet the next phase of your life in the Army, meeting your challenges in a spirit of Courage, Comradeship, Integrity and Commitment.
I wish you all the very best as you take on those roles, inspired by those who have gone before you, as expressed in this whakatauki:
"Hinga atu he toa, ara mai ra he toa” – when one warrior falls, another rises to take their place.
Kia ora, kia kaha, kia manawanui, huihui tātou katoa