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


Speech: Long Journey For Sevenpence

Speech notes:
Minister of Internal Affairs, Hon Jack Elder
Launch of "Long Journey for Sevenpence"
National Archives Foyer
Thursday June 17, 5.30pm

Megan Hutching, Roger Hall, Claudia, Roger Blakeley, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you so much for the opportunity to be with you tonight for the launching of the latest publication from DIA's Historical Branch.

It's been an extremely busy and productive year for the branch with some 11 publications so far and one more to come before the end of the June year.

As many of you know, the branch developed from two institutions in the department in the 1940s, the Centennial branch and the War History branch. It is the government-sponsored body responsible for the fostering, funding, monitoring of New Zealand history at large, and for the production of histories related to state activities.

You may be aware of my abiding interest in history. It was one of my majors in my degree and it was one of the subjects I taught before entering politics. So my presence here tonight is more than just a pleasant duty as Minister.

I want to congratulate Megan Hutching for her latest publication. It is a further example of what the Historical Branch sets out to do in its objective of combining "thorough, accurate and objective research with presentation that has flair, imagination and is interesting to read".

I am sure, though, Megan, Long Journey does not bear any resemblance to Mark Twain's advice to historians "Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please".

I would bet its more in keeping with Marcus Tullius Cicero who said: "History is the witness that testifies to the passing of time; it illumines reality, vitalises memory, provides guidance in daily life and brings us tidings of antiquity".

Others to follow will speak in greater detail about Long Journey for Sevenpence. But, it's the story of the post-Second World War assisted immigration scheme. And it draws on the experiences of some of the migrants themselves.

Many countries have benefited from the contributions migrants bring to their new homes. New Zealand certainly has. The first glimpse of their new home made an indelible impression on many new Kiwis as the migrant ships entered Wellington Harbour or headed up Rangitoto Channel around North Head into Auckland.

It was reminiscent of the mass migration to the United States before the turn of the Century as Europeans arrived in the New World. I mention this by way of noting you've chosen an appropriate day to launch this book because back in 1885 on this very day the Statue of Liberty arrived in New York aboard the French ship "Isere".

We don't have such a monument to migration but we do have the migrants themselves, and their descendants, from all nations and walks of life, who have done so much to enrich New Zealand.

Megan, your book truly meets the Historical Branch's Mission Statement "to contribute to an enhanced awareness and knowledge of New Zealand history among government, policy-makers and the New Zealand people".

Congratulations to you and the publishers, Victoria University Press.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

New Reports: Flood Risk From Rain And Sea Under Climate Change

One report looks at what would happen when rivers are flooded by heavy rain and storms, while the other examines flooding exposure in coastal and harbour areas and how that might change with sea-level rise.

Their findings show that across the country almost 700,000 people and 411,516 buildings worth $135 billion are presently exposed to river flooding in the event of extreme weather events...

There is near certainty that the sea will rise 20-30 cm by 2040. By the end of the century, depending on whether global greenhouse gas emissions are reduced, it could rise by between 0.5 to 1.1 m, which could add an additional 116,000 people exposed to extreme coastal storm flooding. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The Commerce Commission Fuel Report

The interim Commerce Commission report on the fuel industry will do nothing to endear the major oil companies to the New Zealand public... More>>


Emergency Govt Bill: Overriding Local Licensing For The Rugby

“It’s pretty clear some clubs are having difficulty persuading their district licensing committees to grant a special licence to extend their hours for this obviously special event, and so it makes sense for Parliament to allow clubs to meet a community desire." More>>


Leaving Contract Early: KiwiBuild Programme Losing Another Top Boss

Ms O'Sullivan began a six-month contract as head of KiwiBuild Commercial in February, but the Housing Ministry has confirmed she has resigned and will depart a month early to take up a new job. More>>


Proposed National Policy Statement: Helping Our Cities Grow Up And Out

“We need a new approach to planning that allows our cities to grow up, especially in city centres and around transport connections. We also have to allow cities to expand in a way that protects our special heritage areas, the natural environment and highly productive land." More>>


Ombudsman's Report: Ngāpuhi Elder 'Shocked' By Conditions At Ngawha Prison

A prominent Ngāpuhi elder is shocked to find inmates at Ngawha Prison are denied water and forced to relieve themselves in the exercise yard... Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier has released a report highly critical of conditions at the Northland prison. More>>


Promises: Independent Election Policy Costing Unit A Step Closer

The creation of an entity to provide political parties with independent and non-partisan policy costings is a step closer today, according to Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Associate Finance Minister James Shaw. More>>


School's In: Primary And Intermediate Principals Accept New Offer

Primary and intermediate school principals have voted to accept a new settlement from the Ministry of Education, which includes entrenched pay parity with secondary principals. More>>


IPCA On 'Rawshark' Investigation: Multiple Police Failings In Hager Searches Confirmed

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that the Police's unlawful search of Nicky Hager's property in October 2014 resulted from an unwitting neglect of duty and did not amount to misconduct by any individual officer... More>>


Broadcasting Standards: Decisions On Coverage Of Mosque Attacks

The Authority upheld one of these complaints, finding that the use of extensive excerpts from the alleged attacker’s livestream video on Sky News New Zealand had the potential to cause significant distress to audiences in New Zealand, and particularly to the family and friends of victims, and the wider Muslim community. More>>




InfoPages News Channels