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Auckland City Tri-Services Charter Parade

Speech notes:
Mayor of Auckland City Chris Fletcher

Auckland City Tri-Services Charter Parade
Town Hall vicinity, Queen Street, Auckland
1pm, Saturday 28 July, 2001

The people of the City of Auckland welcome your presence today with respect and affection. We honour the commitment and sacrifice of our Defence forces and their families, to all New Zealanders past and present who have served Aotearoa proudly and selflessly.

Putting the needs of others first in order to protect our freedom as well as safeguarding our concept of home – our people – our places and the very many special things we value that are unique to a kiwi way of life.

You have served during the challenge of war and the challenge of maintaining peace in war torn regions. You have been there in times of disaster, relieving human misery providing relief, search and rescue in a humane and kiwi tradition.

We honour you all today for your courage, your commitment and your noble and inspirational service.

For many today who honour and are being honoured this occasion is deeply and intensely personal. Most of our families, our whanau have links past and present to those listed as serving under the colours before us today.

We remember those from conflicts who did not return and those who did return but continue to carry the burden of their experiences with them. We will not forget.

This City applauds courage and service. This is the first Charter Parade of all services; Navy, Army, Airforce.

All veterans and peacekeeping personnel, we honour and thank you for you model of courage and commitment. Your loyalty has been unquestioning despite changing fortunes. To quote from Major General Meldrum in 1991

“Another constant appears to be the forgetfulness of the nation. In time of crisis support is overwhelming, in times of peace it is grudgingly given……… You are the inheritors of an enviable tradition. Valiant duty faithfully done. It is a tradition that all New Zealanders share and indeed is one of the binding traditions of our society.”

The courage and fortitude we honour today are the very qualities we need more of as a society to meet different set of challenges and a different call to service.

That is the call to help New Zealand safeguard a quality of life that has been preserved and fought for down through the generations in the 2001 battle of change as the world experiences globalisation.

I pray New Zealanders will all hear that call to selfless service to our country if we are to protect a way of life for our children in this beautiful place in which we are so fortunate, so privileged to live in.

With humility today therefore we remember you and thank you for the inspirational example set.

Be strong,
Kia Kaha.


Ends.
__________________________________________________________________

Additional background to the charter parade

The Charter document has its origins in history after Charles II became king in 1660. By Warrants, the King authorised officers of his Regiments to raise recruits "by the beat of drum" within the City of London, and the Lord Mayor's permission was given for this purpose.

This recruiting was achieved by marching through the streets with colours flying, drums beating and bayonets fixed to attract attention.

Since then, little has changed in the basis of your charters.

This tradition was transferred to New Zealand, and in the 1950's and 60's Charters were granted to the Three Armed Services.

These have, from time to time been updated as the names of the Armed Services have changed. The friendship charter with HMNZS Te Kaha is the first time Auckland City has been requested to "adopt" a ship. This we did with great pride.

The soul stirring spectacle of a Charter Parade vividly reminds us of the close connection Auckland has enjoyed with the three services and is a timely reminder "Lest we Forget".

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