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Heather Roy's Diary: A New Generation Of Orphans

Friday, October 3, 2008

"Heather Roy's Diary" is the weekly newsletter from Heather Roy MP.
To receive the Diary every week, email sally.guinness[at]parliament.govt.nz, with "subscribe to Heather Roy's Diary" in the subject line.

A New Generation Of Orphans
I was speaking at a meeting recently where a 62-year-old woman told me that her husband had passed away suddenly two years ago. Her four children had all progressively moved overseas to pursue careers, and were now all bringing up their own families over there. She only gets to see her grandchildren when she can get time off work and has saved enough to fly to Australia and the UK. She looked and me sadly and said that, at 62, she's an orphan - an orphan living in a country she loves, but alone.

I've started telling this story at meetings around the country and, each time, at least one person tells me I've just described them. Tens of thousands of Kiwi parents now find themselves in this situation: their children have gone; they no longer have the pleasure of being a constant part of their grandchildren's lives and watching them grow up as Kiwis.

My own children are now reaching the age of working out their career options for the future, and considering where in the world they will visit and ultimately live. Many young people prepare for their OE with great excitement and plan to come back to New Zealand when their travels are done - but the reality is that more and more are staying away because the grass is greener elsewhere.

They can earn more in almost any English-speaking country, and the lifestyle options and safety concerns they worry about are now as good in many other countries too. New Zealand can no longer claim a competitive advantage.

We need to offer our children a future in New Zealand. We need to give them a reason to stay, and find solutions that will convince those living overseas permanently to come home. To do that, we have some thorny problems to tackle and tough decisions to make.

We need to turn New Zealand into a safe and prosperous country - one that competes favourably with the rest of the world. Stunning scenery and a 'No8 Wire' mentality aren't enough on their own.

People want to know they can earn enough to provide their children with the things they didn't have when they were growing up. They want to know their children will be safe when walking down the street and in their communities. They want to get about their law-abiding business unhindered.

People must consider, not just a change of government but, a government of change this election. Only ACT is offering a change of direction and has the courage to address the very real concerns of the new generation of orphans. We want to start by building a strong and thriving economy; to steadily address security and justice issues; to improve education and health by offering Kiwis choices they don't currently have; to tackle welfare dependency head on. This can't be achieved with a pat on the head and encouraging noises; ACTion is what's called for.

Lest We Forget - Te Taua Moana; The Sea Army
October 1 marked the Royal New Zealand Navy's 67th birthday, celebrated with a special service and reception on September 28.

Naval security for the colony of New Zealand was originally provided by the British Royal Navy, which frequently sent warships to New Zealand to maintain law and order amongst British subjects residing here and to prevent violence between the British and Maori.

In 1846 the settlers bought their first gunboat and, from 1860-65, the 'Waikato Flotilla' was in operation. A Naval Artillery Volunteer corps was also established at this time to provide harbour defence and, in 1884, the government purchased four new spar torpedo boats. From 1887 it also funded ships of the Australasian Auxiliary Squadron.

It was not until the passing of the Naval Defence Act of 1913, however, that New Zealand gained an official navy. And it was not until 1941 that the navy became a separate military entity of its own with the formal establishment of the New Zealand Naval Forces.

Since that time the New Zealand Navy has participated in both World Wars, the Korean War, the Malayan emergency and the Indonesia-Malaysia confrontation. It has also operated in the Middle East - playing a role in the Iran–Iraq War, and aiding the Royal Navy in protecting neutral shipping in the Indian Ocean. Frigates were also sent to participate in the first Gulf War and, more recently, Operation Enduring Freedom. The RNZN played an important part in Bougainville, the Solomon Islands and East Timor conflicts of the 1990s. It also often participates in UN peacekeeping operations.


ENDS

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