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Speech: Elder - Bushcraft Video



Te Papa, Monday June 14 , 4pm

Ladies and gentlemen it gives me great pleasure to be here today for the premiere ... and launch ... of the Mountain Safety Council's new Bushcraft video. If past performance is anything to go by it looks set to be a box office smash.

Bushcraft, the original, was made by the National Film Unit in 1974 and has been seen by hundreds of thousands of Kiwis over the past 25 years. In fact any former guides and scouts among you will no doubt remember it well.

The video ... and now its sequel ... is an invaluable training resource aimed at all age groups and caters for each one of us who wishes to enjoy the great outdoors safely. It is just as relevant to the family group off for a short nature walk as it is to the more adventurous types who enjoy going bush for days at a time.

Scouting organisations, Christian camps, outdoor education centres all use the Bushcraft video, but it is the Mountain Safety's volunteer instructors who work to ensure that all New Zealanders involved in outdoor recreational activity see the video and take on board the safety message.

Volunteers ... and volunteer time ... coupled with Lottery Grants Board funding is what has made the Mountain Safety Council a success story for more than 30 years.

The year 2001has been designated the International Year of Volunteers and if New Zealand was asked to single out for special mention one organisation which best illustrates voluntarism then I believe it could look no further than the New Zealand Mountain Safety Council. Its network of volunteers nationwide deliver a cost effective and vital community service.

I see from your latest annual report you estimate your safety message was promoted directly to about 24,000 individuals in the 12 months and countless others indirectly. This educational effort involved close to 200,000 hours of volunteer time. If the total Council budget of about $1million was divided by this time commitment, the Lottery Grants Board is 'buying' on behalf of the community some of the most credible, and valuable outdoor expertise in the country for only $5 an hour. Proof positive that using volunteers is the most cost effective way of educating the public and developing individual responsibility.

It is gratifying to me as Chairman of the Lottery Grants Board that lottery funding continues to recognise and support the vital community service the Mountain Safety Council provides.

Thank you for all your efforts and it now gives me great pleasure to officially launch the lottery-funded video 'It Was Just A Tramp In The Bush'.

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