RSA launches new National Association
RSA launches new National Association
Sir Peter Jackson and NZ Defence Force Chiefs among the first members
A new national association has been launched today by the Royal New Zealand Returned and Services Association (RSA), providing an opportunity for all New Zealanders to become a member of the movement.
Launched at a “pop-up” RSA in central Wellington today, the new National Association makes it possible for Kiwis to “join up” even if they don’t live near an RSA club and regardless of whether they have any family or service connections to the military.
RSA National President Don McIver says their research shows many people are under the impression that you need to have served in the military or have some service connection to join the RSA.
“I think many people have traditionally regarded the RSA as a place for old soldiers, but for RSAs around the country, that is not the case. They are community hubs where people come to enjoy each other’s company, meet friends and family, and enjoy the hospitality that is on offer.”
However, with changes in society, not everyone wants to join a local club, said Mr McIver.
“People want to be able to engage with their peers online, and that is what prompted us to set up a national association. We know there are people who support the RSA’s ideals and objectives and this gives them the chance to be active.
“Kiwis from around the world will be able to join the new national association via our website and connect with our cause on an international scale.”
The new association also provides welfare for war veterans and their families, and assists with remembrance for New Zealand’s service men and women.
The National Association will also present an avenue for service personnel who don’t have a permanent address to join and participate in the RSA.
Mr McIver says the new association means anyone from anywhere can sign up to join the RSA online and, in doing so, support the work of the RSA at both a national and community level.
“Over recent years, we have seen a growing interest from younger New Zealanders to learn more about their family military history. We’ve seen this support in the growing numbers attending services on Anzac day and among those wearing poppies with pride.
“Many young Kiwis are keen to know more about our war heritage and be connected with that, and through an RSA membership, where we will focus on engaging with our members online, they can be,” said Mr McIver.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re 21 or 71 years old – our new National Association enables you to be part of a force for good in New Zealand that champions the Anzac spirit and everything it stands for.”
There are four “founding members” of the new national association who were formally acknowledged at the launch event in Wellington.
The four founding members are Lieutenant General Timothy Keating MNZM, Chief of the New Zealand Defence Force, Phillip Meyer FNZIM, FAIM, FFIN, Company and Investment Banker and Lieutenant General (Rtd) Richard Rhys Jones CNZM, former Chief of the New Zealand Defence Force and filmmaker Sir Peter Jackson.
The RSA National Association will provide a range of benefits to its members, allowing them to access Kiwi hospitality at great prices through the network of RSA clubs around the country, as well as social and sporting activities. It will also give them access to RSL clubs in Australia. Members will be provided with an RSA Club Card, granting them exclusive benefits and deals with a range of quality trusted brands.
The “pop-up” RSA, will be open from 7.30am - 5.00pm on October 3 and 9.00am – 3.00pm on October 4, at 200 Lambton Quay, Wellington.
To find out more about joining the RSA National Association, visit https://rsa.org.nz/join
National Association founding members statements
Sir Peter Jackson, New Zealand film director, producer and screenwriter
“The RSA means a lot to me - my Dad used to spend every Friday night with his mates at the Pukerua Bay RSA, and when I was old enough - well, almost old enough - he would take me along. I got to know veterans of both World Wars and it’s a memory I hold dear. I do feel like an impostor, accepting an RSA badge with no military service - but I will proudly do so in honour of Kiwi veterans past and present.”
New Zealand Defence Force Chief Lieutenant General Timothy Keating, MNZM
“I am honoured to be an RSA National Association Ambassador. The RSA and New Zealand Defence Force relationship, founded in the First World War, continues to be as strong now as it was a hundred years ago. By joining the new National Association, New Zealanders will be able to show their support of our Service men and women, past and present. I encourage all currently serving personnel to take advantage of the free RSA membership and look forward to promoting the important role the RSA plays in supporting the long term wellbeing of our Service personnel and their families throughout New Zealand.”
Former New Zealand Defence Force Chief Lieutenant General (Retired) Rhys Jones, CMNZM
“The launch of this new national association comes at an important time for New Zealand, as we join the rest of the world in remembering the First World War which had such a major impact in New Zealand. The RSA is making it easier for all Kiwis to be part of their work. I would encourage everyone to think about joining me and becoming a member.”
Phillip Meyer, Company and Investment Banker FNZIM, FAIM, FFIN
“I am honoured to be among the first to join the new RSA National Association. The RSA is an outstanding organisation that plays a vital role in supporting military families who make an enormous contribution to helping protect and preserve the values that this country holds so dear.
“My grandfather was one of the original Anzacs at Gallipoli and I know many families throughout New Zealand have similar military connections, so it is encouraging to see the RSA working to bring those communities together through a National Association, and take advantage of the tremendous support services and resources the RSA has to offer.”