Written Questions to Hon Ron Mark – Update

For those of you who do not troll through the Parliamentary Website you may be interested to read the written questions posed to the Hon Ron Mark (Minister of Veterans) by Members of Parliament.  The answers to some of these questions are also displayed.

30016 (2018). Dr Shane Reti to the Minister for Veterans (15 Nov 2018): Does the Minister have a Royal New Zealand Navy representative on the Veterans Advisory Board and if not, what are the impacts this may have on our wartime defence?
Hon Ron Mark (Minister for Veterans) replied:  There is no specific representative of the Royal New Zealand Navy on the Board. No member has been appointed to the Board to represent the interests of any specific branch of the Armed Forces. Members were selected for the skills and experience they bring to their role, not for their Service affiliation. The Board is currently considering two questions: who should be considered a veteran and how New Zealand wants to recognise their service. The current members of the Board have been appointed specifically to look at these questions. Their appointments lapse on 31 July 2019. The topic under consideration is a broad one and I have appointed a cross-section of New Zealanders to examine it. While the majority have an Armed Forces background, this was not a requirement for appointment. The role of the Veterans’ Advisory Board has no implications for wartime defence.

29828 (2018). Dr Shane Reti to the Minister for Veterans (14 Nov 2018): What consultation has the Minister had, if any, in electing not to have a Royal New Zealand Navy representative on the Veterans Advisory Board?
Hon Ron Mark (Minister for Veterans) replied: I had no specific consultation which led me to elect not to appoint a Royal NZ Navy representative on the Veterans’ Advisory Board. This is because no member was appointed to the Board to represent the interests of any specific branch of the Armed Forces. All members were selected for the skills and experience they bring to their role, not for their Service affiliation. The topic which the Board is considering is a broad one and I appointed a cross-section of New Zealanders to examine it. While the majority have an Armed Forces background, this was not a requirement for appointment.

29827 (2018). Dr Shane Reti to the Minister for Veterans (14 Nov 2018): Why does the New Zealand Veterans Advisory Board not have a Royal New Zealand Navy representative on the board?
Hon Ron Mark (Minister for Veterans) replied: The Board is currently considering two questions: who should be considered a veteran and how New Zealand wants to recognise their service. The current members of the Board have been appointed specifically to look at these questions. Their appointments lapse on 31 July 2019. No member has been appointed to the Board to represent the interests of any specific branch of the Armed Forces. The topic under consideration is a broad one and I have appointed a cross-section
of New Zealanders to examine it. While the majority have an Armed Forces background, this was not a requirement for appointment. Members were selected for the skills and experience they bring to their role, not for their Service affiliation.

29827 (2018). Dr Shane Reti to the Minister for Veterans (14 Nov 2018): Why does the New Zealand Veterans Advisory Board not have a Royal New Zealand Navy representative on the board?
Hon Ron Mark (Minister for Veterans) replied: I did not consult the Royal NZ Navy, the New Zealand Army or the Royal NZ Air Force when considering potential appointments to the Veterans’ Advisory Board.

29826 (2018). Dr Shane Reti to the Minister for Veterans (14 Nov 2018): In electing not to have a Royal New Zealand Navy representative on the Veterans Advisory Board, did the Minister consult the Navy, if so, when and what was the nature of the consultation?
Hon Ron Mark (Minister for Veterans) replied: I did not consult the Royal NZ Navy, the New Zealand Army or the Royal NZ Air Force when considering potential appointments to the Veterans’ Advisory Board.

29825 (2018). Dr Shane Reti to the Minister for Veterans (14 Nov 2018): Will the Minister appoint a Royal New Zealand Navy representative to the New Zealand Veterans Advisory Board, and if so when, and if not why not?
Hon Ron Mark (Minister for Veterans) replied: I am not planning to make any further appointments to the Veterans’ Advisory Board. There are no vacancies on the Board.

29824 (2018). Dr Shane Reti to the Minister for Veterans (14 Nov 2018): Is the Minister aware of any of our Five Eyes partners not having a Navy representative on their equivalent Veterans Affairs Advisory Boards?
Hon Ron Mark (Minister for Veterans) replied: I am not aware of any of our Five Eyes partners having boards which are the equivalent of the Veterans’ Advisory Board and which are undertaking the sort of work which the Veterans’ Advisory Board has been appointed to undertake in the current financial year.

Questions which have been answered

19711 (2018). David Seymour to the Veterans (Minister – Ron Mark) (05 Sep 2018): Why is it unclear who should be considered a veteran?
Hon Ron Mark (Veterans (Minister – Ron Mark)) replied: There is no one common definition of the term “veteran” and the word is often used broadly within society – sometimes to refer to any person with a long tenure in any profession. It can be used to describe those who have served on military operations overseas – or sometimes to cover anyone who has served in any uniformed capacity, in the Army, Navy or Air Force. The definition in the Veterans’ Support Act 2014 is narrower. It refers to those who have had any service in the New Zealand armed forces before 1 April 1974, and those with “qualifying operational service” after that date. The definition of “qualifying operational service” covers service for New Zealand in the armed forces at a time of war, or in deployments overseas where a ministerial declaration has confirmed that those taking part could have been at significant risk of harm. If these people have been injured, or become ill because of their service, Veterans’ Affairs supports them to improve their health and quality of life. When Professor Ron Paterson undertook an independent review in 2017 of the operation of the Veterans’ Support Act 2014 (as required by that Act), a number of those who made submissions expressed disquiet about how the term “veteran” was defined in the Act. In his report (available at http://www.veteransaffairs.mil.nz/news/articles/review-report-released/), Professor Paterson stated: “the veteran community is deeply dissatisfied about who qualifies for entitlements….. The issue of who is considered an eligible veteran is a fundamental one that deserves re-examination.” Professor Paterson recommended that: “The Government undertakes further work on who is a veteran and how New Zealand wants to recognise their service.” I have accepted that recommendation and asked the Board to examine the issue.

19709 (2018). David Seymour to the Veterans (Minister – Ron Mark) (05 Sep 2018): Is there any reason why Veterans’ Affairs cannot determine who should be considered a veteran?
Hon Ron Mark (Veterans (Minister – Ron Mark)) replied: The specific function of the Veterans’ Advisory Board (the Board) is to provide advice to me on issues impacting on veterans, including advice on policies to be applied in respect of veterans’ entitlements. The Board is an independent statutory body established under section 247 of the Veterans’ Support Act 2014. This means that, while it will receive advice from Veterans’ Affairs, any advice it gives to me is independent. Therefore, the consideration of this question does represent the type of work that the Board was intended to be able to undertake when it was established by the previous National-led Government.

19708 (2018). David Seymour to the Veterans (Minister – Ron Mark) (05 Sep 2018): How long will it take the Veterans’ Advisory Board to determine who should be considered a veteran?
Hon Ron Mark (Veterans (Minister – Ron Mark)) replied: I have asked the Veterans’ Advisory Board to deliver its final advice to me, in the form of a written report, by 30 June 2019.

19707 (2018). David Seymour to the Veterans (Minister – Ron Mark) (05 Sep 2018): What is the annual budget of the Veterans’ Advisory Board?
Hon Ron Mark (Veterans (Minister – Ron Mark)) replied: The Veterans’ Advisory Board is one of three statutory boards and panels established under the Veterans’ Support Act 2014 by the previous National-led Government. Funding for these boards and panels is covered by an appropriation within Vote Defence Force. A sum of $284,000 is allocated on an annual basis to cover all costs of the three statutory boards and panels, and is unchanged from every fiscal year since the establishment of the Board.

15417 (2018). David Seymour to the Veterans (Minister – Ron Mark) (02 Aug 2018): What are his priorities for the portfolio and how will these priorities improve the lives of New Zealanders?
Hon Ron Mark (Veterans (Minister – Ron Mark)) replied: As Minister for Veterans, my priorities include: Consideration of recommendations from the review of the operation of the Veterans’ Support Act 2014, Improving services to veterans, Upholding our responsibility to military personnel, Partnering with veterans’ organisations, and Honouring our veterans. The delivery of these priorities will improve the lives of veterans, to which we owe a unique duty of care.

2047 (2018). Ian Mckelvie to the Veterans (Minister – Ron Mark) (15 Feb 2018): What are the Government’s priorities for the Veterans Portfolio in the next 12 months?
Hon Ron Mark (Veterans (Minister – Ron Mark)) replied: As Minister for Veterans, my priorities include: – Consideration of the review of the operation of the Veterans’ Support Act 2014 – Improving services to veterans – Upholding our responsibility to military personnel – Partnering with veterans’ organisations – Honouring our veterans

If you wish to view the written questions received by the Hon Ron Mark in the future. Click HERE.

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Wearing Medals

This is a great way of getting the message out there.  Click HERE for the message.

 

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VETERANS ADVISORY BOARD

You will be aware from a previous post the composition of the Veterans Advisory Board which was established in August by the Minister of Defence.  This Board has been tasked with determining what is most probably the most fundamental question which will effect all Serving and ex Serving members of the New Zealand Defence Force.

WHAT IS A VETERAN?

The Board has been established under the Veterans Support Act 2014, Part 8 article 248 and comprises of:

Six Army Personnel, five of which are non serving,  two serving Airforce personnel and one Member of Parliament (Retired)  a further serving Airforce representative has been named to stand in for any serving personnel who are unable to attend.

What is missing here?  There is no Navy representative on this Board!   Now if you don’t care or have no opinion on the composition of this Board, then please read no further.  However, if you believe that there should be a Navy representative from either serving or non-serving on this board to provide a truely cross section of experience, then read on.

A templated letter has been attached to this post and can be downloaded HERE.  The letter is addressed to the Minister of Defence with a copy to your local Member of Parliament.  The letter should be sent in its entirety, dated, your address and signature details appended.  The letter should then be emailed to the Minister with a hard copy posted by snail mail.  No stamps are required for this correspondence as they can be sent FREEPOST.

The Hon Ron Mark email address is r.mark@ministers.govt.nz  your local MP’s email address can be found by clicking HERE.

Please, if you want your voice heard than ‘Communicate’ sadly this is not something we do or our Government does very well.

 

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Who are the Veterans’ Advisory Board Members

Members of the Veterans’ Advisory Board are appointed by the Minister for Veterans.

Leith Comer, Chair – Served in the New Zealand Army for 21 years, including as a senior officer. Has extensive knowledge of the workings of government, as well as leadership experience in the military, private and community sectors Has held senior positions as a public servant, including as the Chief Executive of the Ministry of Maori Development from 2001-2011, and the Deputy Secretary of Economic Development from 1997-2001. Recently awarded the QSO.

Chester Borrows – Member of Parliament between 2005 and 2017. Held wide-ranging appointments during his time in Parliament. As Minister, his portfolios included Courts, Associate Justice, and Associate Social Development. He was Deputy Speaker of the House, a member of a number of select committees, and Chairperson of the Justice and Electoral Committee. Worked with the New Zealand Police as a sworn officer, including periods spent in rural policing roles and with the Criminal Investigation Branch. Worked as a lawyer in Taranaki.

Fiona Cassidy – Previous military service in the Army. Held the role of Director, Defence Communications Group. Over 20 years of experience managing communications at a strategic level. Extensive experience in working with Māori, Pacific, and hard-to-reach communities. Has held a number of Director and board appointments on business, government, and not-for-profit organisations.

BJ (Barry) Clark – National President of the RSA. RSA member since 1973, including service on executive at local, district and national level. 21 years in the Royal New Zealand Engineers, including service in Singapore, Moscow, Fiji, Antarctica and Sinai.

Baden Ewart – 28 years of service in the New Zealand Army. Has worked in both primary and secondary health care. Has been the General Manager Operations for the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority and is currently the Canterbury Civil Defence and Emergency Management Group Recovery Manager. Experienced with central and local government engagement, including with the Ministry of Health, and Ministry of Social Development.

Denise Hutchins – Career in the health sector spanned 44 years, commencing in the clinical area as a nurse in both hospital and community settings, progressing to a Chief Nursing Officer position. Moved into health management, working in organisational development with responsibilities for human resources, health, safety and wellbeing, learning and development and strategic quality improvement. Served as a Territorial in the New Zealand Army as a member of the Royal New Zealand Nursing Corps (Territorial) from 1979-1994, retiring as Lieutenant Colonel and Principal Nursing Officer 2 (GH) Field Hospital. Justice of the Peace since 2002 and is currently the Immediate Past President of the Royal Federation of New Zealand Justices’ Associations.

Warrant Officer Class One Mark Mortiboy, Chief of Defence Force nominee. Warrant Officer of the Defence Force, a principal advisor to CDF, and a member of the NZDF Senior Leadership Team. Serving veteran with overseas postings and deployments to Singapore, the Sinai, East Timor and Antarctica. Sergeant-Major of the Army from 2014-2017.

Group Captain Leanne Woon – Senior serving RNZAF officer, currently Director Programme Delivery – Capability Branch Operational deployments to Afghanistan, Bosnia and East Timor. Awarded the Defence Meritorious Service Medal in 2014 in recognition of her significant contribution to the development of women in the New Zealand Defence Force.

Deputy members – When a member is absent a member’s deputy may attend a meeting in their place.

Wing Commander Michelle White, deputy member for Mark Mortiboy – senior serving RNZAF officer, whose currently Staff Officer Strategy Execution, Defence Logistics Command, HQ NZDF. experience includes a broad range of RNZAF and NZDF logistics and leadership roles, including Officer Commanding of Logistics Squadron in RNZAF Base Woodbourne and Logistics Support Squadron in RNZAF Base Ohakea. Also Staff Officer of Logistics Planning for Operations at HQ Joint Forces New Zealand, and Acting Chief of Staff at HQ Defence Logistics Command postings to the Support Unit (South East Asia) in Singapore as Staff Officer Supply, and to the Support Unit (Middle East) in United Arab Emirates as the Senior National Officer deployments to Timor Leste, Solomon Islands, Antarctica, the Middle East, and Afghanistan.

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Speech to the RSA National Conference 2018

For those members who were not at the National RSA Conference, here is the speech by the Minister of Defence, Ron Mark
31 OCTOBER 2018
Speech to the RSA National Conference 2018
Ron Mark
HON RON MARK
Veterans
It has been a full year since I last stood before you as a new Minister.

A year since I was provided the opportunity to translate my passion for Veterans and Defence issues, into actually getting stuff done.

Today I can report back that over that year:

I’ve met with many of you who are in this room, and with other service personnel (both serving and retired) and other veteran centred organisations (both nationally and internationally). Listened to your views and received an appreciation for how we can provide better support to veterans
I have travelled to numerous RSA’s throughout the regions, with more visits to come.
This year the Government also approved funding for the RSA and No Duff to support their quest to develop better support services for Veterans. In particular those suffering from PTSI.
In addition:

I’ve tabled the Paterson Report which is a Review of the Veterans’ Support Act and how it is operating.
Aligned with this, I’ve Appointed a new Veterans’ Advisory Board and tasked them with looking into the question of who should be considered a veteran and how veterans might be recognised.
I’ve appointed new members to the Veterans’ Health Advisory Panel
And launched the Veterans’ Affairs rehabilitation strategy
I’ve made available some $400,000 for the Veterans’ Health Advisory Panel to use to fund research into the health of Vietnam War veterans and their families
I’ve declared service in Moscow between August 1978 and July 1992 to be an Operational Deployment, and we are looking into several others
And most importantly, I’ve overseen as Minister the conclusion of the work to repatriate our fallen.
Te Auraki

And it is with Te Auraki I’d like to start:

I’m proud to tell you that Te Auraki – the repatriation project – is now complete.

Over the last six-months the Defence Force coordinated work to repatriate 35 personnel in four tranches from six countries:

Three servicemen from Fiji and American Samoa were returned to New Zealand on 7 May 2018.
26 servicemen and one child from Malaysia and a serviceman from Singapore were returned to New Zealand on 21 August 2018.
Two servicemen from the United Kingdom were returned to New Zealand on 26 September 2018.
Two servicemen from the Republic of Korea were returned to New Zealand on 7 October 2018.
And I have not forgotten Able Seaman Marchioni. If peace is declared between North and South Korea, then we may have a chance to see if we can find him.
The New Zealand Government and its people very much appreciated the care given by the countries that looked after our fallen.

In particular we registered our gratitude to Malaysia for the way they cared for our fallen and the dignity they accorded them. I have also expressed gratitude to Air New Zealand for the support and assistance they gave us in providing an aircraft for the Malaysian repatriation.

I’d like us to take a moment to recognise those returned service personnel who lobbied previous governments, for so many years. People like Paul Thomas, Andy Peters, Bob Davies and Sir Wira Gardiner.

Both the nation, and the families of those who came home; have much to thank you for.

And I’d also like to thank the Prime Minister and my cabinet colleagues for agreeing to expand the objectives of Te Auraki so that 35 personnel could be bought home, instead of the 27 which was originally planned.

All of the work by so many people, helped us put right the inequity that was created in 1955 when the policy for repatriation changed.

It was privilege to be a part of the ceremonies welcoming our comrades home – and to have the RSA and representatives from other veterans groups there as witnesses, to support the families of the deceased.

And I’d note in particular the number of RSA members who supported the families at reinternment.

Paterson Report

As you’ll all be aware, Professor Ron Paterson recently reviewed the operation of the Veterans’ Support Act.

I commend the RSA for its support during the process. Your members, played a key role in ensuring that Professor Paterson’s report was reflective of the views of those who have served.

I thank those who took the time to make detailed and often heartfelt submissions, during the consultation meetings around New Zealand.

In May this year, I tabled the report in the House. It contained 64 recommendations.

Many are already being progressed by my officials, and they’ll be reporting to me later this year on how some of the more complex matters Professor Paterson raised can be addressed.

Veterans’ Advisory Board

One of the recommendations was that it is time to look again at the question of who should be considered a veteran, and how veterans should be recognised.

Whilst this was out of scope of the Terms of Reference, it was considered significant and worthy of consideration.

And also, I have appointed a new and refreshed Veterans’ Advisory Board which is now headed by Lt Col (rtd) Leith Comer and on 31 August, I announced this Board has been tasked with looking into this key question. I’ve asked them to report back, by the middle of 2019.

The revamped Veterans Advisory Board comprises a very strong group of people. Most of them have served, but not all. They were chosen for their skills and experience across many sectors, much wider than just Defence.

None of them were appointed to represent the interests of any of the individual Services, because all those interests, or interest groups, will be able to have their say directly to the Board.

This is a big question, and they’ll be looking at it from a wide perspective, on behalf of all of us.

Do not underestimate the consequential effects if things change. They may be substantial.

I’m looking forward to receiving their report – and taking some action. Hopefully before the next election.

Centenary of the end of the First World War

At the end of next week we’ll commemorate Armistice Day.

It’s going to start with a 100-gun salute on the waterfront near Te Papa, and then we’ll commemorate the moments after the guns fell silent at the end of the First World War.

We’ll be thinking again about our forebears who paid the ultimate price.

For 100 years we have rightly commemorated the First World War and paid our respects to those who fell.

But I think it’s time, in light of the challenges we face today, with our contemporary vets, to spare some time to think about those from all wars and conflicts, who came home. Survivors of the horrors they had experienced over five long years.

I think we have a duty of responsibility to think more about those who were wounded, maimed or disfigured, and who were left to forever suffer the effects of what we now acknowledge as PTSI.

When I was growing up as a kid in Pahiatua, the views on veterans were pretty mixed. Many were viewed as a bunch of drunks who went down to the RSA, had trouble at home and were generally a bit messed up. No one stopped to ask the question why.

This Armistice Day we should take time to reflect on how they managed their challenges in peacetime – and how they reintegrated back into their families, their friends and their communities.

We should also consider how hard it must have been for the families to accept back into their lives these badly damaged men and women.

Today’s service personnel

The challenges of reintegration are as real today as they ever were. For some in this room, I am sure it is a challenge you remember.

For many, it is something we still deal with on a daily basis.

New Zealand is still sending men and women away on operational deployments. But they’re different today from the conflicts we took part in during the two World Wars.

We no longer see large numbers of conscripted personnel – and mass casualties. Barely a family in New Zealand was left untouched in those days by tragedy and loss.

Today, our forces in conflict zones are all volunteers. Their deployments are time defined, and may be brief.

During their careers service people may take part in several operations – different types, different environments, different risks. They may be involved in stabilisation, peacebuilding, disaster relief and reconstruction in fragile and unpredictable environments, contributing to collective international and regional security efforts.

These might not require mass mobilisation, but they do still require our military to be highly trained, flexible, and properly equipped for the kind of engagements they face. Some of the experiences during these deployments are never easy, and they can change our personnel forever.

And when they come home, they know that just around the corner, it might well be South Sudan, Korea, Afghanistan or the MFO they’re off to next.

Each and everyone of these deployments leaves their mark and poses their challenges upon return, and each of these deployments leaves these people when they leave the service life in need of some form of support.

And that’s where we all need to step in.

As proud as I am of the service I did in my time, I’ve now travelled all over to see our people in operational theatres, and I have to say, they’re better than we were. They’re extremely smart, bright and capable men and women. We also need to recognise that the Defence Force has changed.

For example, the number of women now serving in senior ranks with distinction, such as Col Melanie Childs is something we should all be proud of.

Funding

One year ago when I stood before you with the Prime Minister, and I gave you a commitment. This commitment was aimed at improving the reintegration and mental health support for our contemporary veterans.

Within two months, I came through on that promise and secured a one-off grant for $250,000 to support the important work of your organisation and a $25,000 grant for No Duff.

Then in April of this year this Government proved that it stands beside you and welcomes the support you provide to the veteran community.

We announced there will be $1 million in grants made available to you over the next four years. In addition we provided No Duff Charitable Trust with further $100,000.

This funding acknowledges that our returned service personnel need the specialist support services provided by the RNZRSA.

The funding has been made available to you, so that you can better work on the frontline of support work – and so you can continue to help those who have served, and who are suffering ongoing trauma.

Especially mental health trauma.

Where the RSA fits

But this funding does not come without expectations. The Government only provides funding to reputable organisations which do good work in their communities. They also must demonstrate that they are providing the service in the most efficient manner possible.

The RSA has a strong reputation, built up over the last 100 years. But, as your Chairman pointed out to you in his address, reputation counts for nothing in the changing world.

We continue to see individual RSA’s folding. Leaving gaps in support services for Veterans.

Taupo closing gutted me. I was there attending the reunion of 1 Ranger Company. I went up to the bar and asked the woman serving, ‘so how’s the club going?’

She said “not well, we close in two-week’s time.” And then I got a bit of a brief history and I was not impressed. And the irony for me is that we then retired to the Onward Bar. Now, the Onward Bar is a bar set up by a Contemporary Veteran. Who did service in the New Zealand Army, and then was injured doing private security in Iraq.

Out of his own money, he set up a bar as a place where people can go.

It’s more like a museum than a bar, and it looks like a lot of the RSA’s looked like, with a lot of paraphernalia, the difference being is that this bar reflects more contemporary vets.

But, it guts me that in a place like the central plateau, with Waiouru just down the road, that you would lose a place like the RSA.

In a community that is not known as an impoverished one, with plenty of discretionary spending, and with a lot of service men and women residing in it.

It goes to show, that if RSA’s don’t modernise, and work with their communities, then they will fold. But, likewise RSA’s taken advantage of by those who administer them, will fold.

For the last 100 years, your organisation – the Royal New Zealand Returned Services Association – has played a central role in supporting men and woman when they come back home from conflict. And their families.

Today the membership is broader and many on local RSA executive committees have no Military background. Without some of these people these RSA’s would fold. When I was at Huntly I saw that most of the committee were volunteers with no service background, and the RSA was a success.

If you are to survive for another 100 years, and I say we because I’ve been a member of the Palmerston North, Christchurch Central, Templeton, Rangiora and now Carterton RSA’s

If we are to survive, the work we do, for which we were formed, must be taken seriously. There must be a strategic plan, and there must be reformation. And I congratulate you for taking the first step of passing a new constitution.

People who are charged with the executive duties, must be good people. Vetting and auditing systems must be tight, because you’re not just there to protect the RSAs themselves, but the reputation of the RSA as a whole.

I know from what I am hearing that you’re facing massive challenges, and I know that your board has worked tirelessly to provide a level of professionalism and encourage you towards modernisation, I welcome that and I congratulate you all for that.

We have a huge task as returned service men and women, and gaining the confidence of contemporary veterans is one of them.

There are 30,000 of them out there now. Of the 41,000 veterans, 30,000 of the served in places like Timor, Afghanistan, the Indian Ocean and Bosnia.

And just like I was dubious about setting foot inside an RSA when I returned from the Sinai, because I didn’t feel I’d done the sort of service that WW1, WW2 and Vietnam vets had done, I tended to stay out.

But, I still admired the RSA, so eventually I joined. Today’s vets are no different, they did six months in Iraq. How do they, in their head, compare that to the horrors of World War One? How does an Afghanistan Veteran in their head, compare themselves to a Vietnam Vet.

So when they do get up the courage to walk in the door, if it doesn’t’ look like smell like and feel like their home, they might not come back in again.

And then they might come into an RSA one day, and they hear that it’s a bit dodgy, and the books are not right, and the membership is down, it could probably be understood if they choose to hang out at the Onward Bar to talk about the issues they’re grappling with.

I want the RSA to be that place, that when these young men and women, come back from a deployment, they can call their home.

And I’ll leave that challenge with you, but I’m always here to assist. And I encourage you to work with your board to look closely at how things can change.

You know, it used to be that you could get a message in the newspaper and people would respond to that. Our young people don’t work like that today, they work off their phone, and if it’s not on there then it’s never going to happen.

They like to be directly linked and directly connected, by email and social media and they like to see that communication is relevant to them.

They look upon many of you as their heroes, you participated in theatres that some would struggle to comprehend. Many aspire to be like those who went before them, and being the humble and professional people they are, they’re not going to say that their service was equal to anything that came before them.

They’re always going to be a little shy, and they’re going to gravitate to what they know, through the means that connects them. Their phone.

Good luck, you know you have my subscription and my blessing.

Thank you for hosting me.

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Jack Passings – November 2018

The following Sailors ‘Crossed the Bar’ during the month of November 2018. Details of funerals etc can be found by clicking HERE.

SECKER, Robert Denis (Blue) LTCDR
MILNER, Leonard Alfred (Len) Stoker
PERRY, Clive Lionel Art App
FORSTER, DEAN JAMES.
BOWEN, James Arnold (Jim) REM
BILLINGTON, Bill Stoker 1st Class
LINTON, Robert Arthur Stwd
CUPPLES, John William LSG
MORELL, Edward John (“Ted”) Seaman
RUSSELL, Norman David Stoker

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REUNION – 1965 – REGISTRATIONS OF INTEREST

If you joined the RNZN as part of Class CS82 – January 1965 this could be just for you.  We are looking for Registrations of Interest for a Reunion for CS82 recruits.  This would be the 55th Year since we all joined and it would be great to have a final gathering of our class.  Many of us left after our 8 years, then 12 years, and many stayed on to complete 20 years.

If you would like to Register your Interest please click HERE and complete the form.

 

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