Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Speech: Peters - Anzac Day

ANZAC Day Service
Kerikeri RSA
10 am, 25 April 2016
“How We Should Remember Them”

Wars and the effects of wars live with us.
New Zealand like many other nations is remembering the so called war to end all wars –World War One.
In August 2014 we remembered the start of World War One; last year we commemorated the tragic Anzac campaign at Gallipoli which some historians credit as being a time which helped define us as a nation.
And today in many parts of the world wherever New Zealanders and Australians are they will stop to share this day in commemoration and tribute to enormous sacrifice.
Later this year we will recall the Battle of the Somme in which our troops served and in which so many died.
New Zealand troops entered the battle in mid-September 1916 and by the end of it over 2000 were dead and nearly 6000 wounded.
Barely two decades later the Second World War brought more sorrow to this country.
Again thousands of our service personnel gave their lives and were left to lie in lonely graves distant from their homes and loved ones.
Not many of those lucky enough to come home from World War II are left now but again the impact of that conflict lives with us.
Today we acknowledge the contribution our service veterans have made – not just in the two world wars but in Korea, Malaya, Vietnam, Kuwait, Bosnia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Timor and R.A.M.S.I. and the many other theatres to which our service personnel have been deployed.
New Zealand currently has 31,000 veterans of whom 11,000 come from the period after World War II up to the Vietnam War - 20,000 of those veterans served after Vietnam.
In remembering those who have served our country abroad we should also remember their families and do our best to understand the frustrations of those who serve in the military and the agony of their loved ones. We should do all we can to comprehend the ordeal and tribulation of military personnel and, dare it be said, ensure that Governments and bureaucrats share that understanding.
It is the duty of all of us to remind whoever is in power of their responsibilities to these personnel.
A letter written 204 years ago images just how disconnected some in power can become from the personnel they have sent to war or placed in harm’s way.
The Duke of Wellington was a much decorated general who defeated Napoleon twice and who, to many in the era, defined the British character. Nevertheless, he still had to answer a flurry of petty questions generated by bureaucrats in London. The following is a letter he wrote to the National Office in 1812 in response to some trifling expenses for which he was being held accountable:

Whilst marching from Portugal to a position which commands the approach to Madrid and the French forces, my officers have been diligently complying with your requests which have been sent by H.M. ship from London to Lisbon and thence by dispatch to our headquarters.
We have enumerated our saddles, bridles, tents and tent poles, and all manner of sundry items for which His Majesty’s Government holds me accountable. I have dispatched reports on the character, wit, and spleen of every officer. Each item and every farthing has been accounted for, with two regrettable exceptions for which I beg your indulgence.
Unfortunately the sum of one shilling and ninepence remains unaccounted for in one infantry battalion’s petty cash and there has been a hideous confusion as the number of jars of raspberry jam issued to one cavalry regiment during a sandstorm in western Spain. This reprehensible carelessness may be related to the pressure of circumstance, since we are at war with France, a fact which may come as a bit of a surprise to you gentlemen in Whitehall.
This brings me to my present purpose, which is to request elucidation of my instructions from His Majesty’s Government so that I may better understand why I am dragging an army over these barren plains. I construe that perforce it
must be one of two alternative duties, as given below. I shall pursue either one with the best of my ability, but I cannot do both:
1. To train an army of uniformed British clerks in Spain for the benefit of the accountants and copy-boys in London or perchance.
2. To see to it that the forces of Napoleon are driven out of Spain.
Your most obedient Servant
In remembering the suffering and losses of war, let us commit ourselves to working for a world where differences between nations can be resolved without resort to war.
That is the way that we can best honour the men and women who have served, who have fought and who have died.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Back Again: Government Approves TPP11 Mandate

The Government has approved a negotiating mandate for Trans-Pacific Partnership 11 (TPP11), which will ensure New Zealand businesses remain competitive in overseas markets.

Trade Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand will be pushing for the minimal number of changes possible to the original TPP agreement, something that the remaining TPP11 countries have agreed on. More>>




Gordon Campbell: On Why Labour Isn’t Responsible For Barnaby Joyce

As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our own government has chosen to further that narrative, and make itself an accomplice. More>>


Rail: Greens Back Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland Service

The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government. More>>


Housing: Voluntary Rental Warrant Of Fitness For Wellington

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>


Treaty: Agreement In Principle Signed With Moriori

“The Crown acknowledges Moriori was left virtually landless from 1870, hindering its cultural, social and economic development. The Crown also acknowledges its contribution to the myths that the people of Moriori were racially inferior and became extinct." More>>


Susan Devoy: Call For Inquiry Into State Abuse Reaches UN

Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy is in Geneva and has asked a United Nations committee to urge the New Zealand government to initiate an inquiry into the physical and sexual abuse of children and disabled people held in state institutions. More>>


(Not National): Cross-Party Agreement On Pike River Re-Entry

The commitment was signed this afternoon by the leaders of Labour, United Future, The Maori Party, and the Green Party and, together with the earlier commitment by New Zealand First, means that there is now a Parliamentary majority behind the families’ fight for truth and justice. More>>






Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election