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Veterans’ Minister presents $20,000 for memorial

Veterans’ Minister presents $20,000 cheque for memorial

A $20,000 cheque from Veterans’ Affairs Minister George Hawkins will help fund a new memorial at Manukau’s Memorial Gardens honouring the veteran community.

Presenting the cheque today to the South Auckland RSA Cemetery Trust, Mr Hawkins said the planned memorial, consisting of a garden area enclosed by engraved granite walls, would honour thousands of New Zealand veterans who served internationally through the years.

“Their contribution has been outstanding and it is important we recognize this. For this reason I support this new memorial wholeheartedly,” Mr Hawkins said.

The presentation comes only a few weeks after Prime Minister Helen Clark’s visit to North Africa marking the 60th anniversary of the Battle of El Alamein.

In that battle New Zealand soldiers helped inflict the first land-based defeat of a German-led army, marking a turning point in World War Two.

“War helped to shape New Zealand and the way in which we thought about our country, our history, and our place in the world.

“We owe a debt of gratitude to our veteran community, to those who fought and lived to recount the horrors of war, and to those who fought and died.

The memorial will be a wonderful tribute to courage of those who have served New Zealand in times of crisis,” Mr Hawkins said.

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