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Maxim Institute - real issues - 27 April 2006

27 Apr 2006

Maxim Institute - real issues - No 202 27 April 2006

www.maxim.org.nz

We Will Remember Them

New Bill Will Help Save Lives

Overseas Insight Vital For Local Community

In The News: Maxim Institute Wins International Awards

In The News: Civil Unions One Year On

In The News: A New Investment Opportunity That Supports Maxim Institute

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We Will Remember Them

On Tuesday, ANZAC Day, New Zealand paused to remember those who have served our country in the time of war. We gave thanks for those who fought for our freedom, and those who died to secure it. At war memorials around the country, veterans marched, and people gathered to remember grandparents, loved ones, daughters, sons, and heroes.

In this, the year of the Veteran, we celebrate the 90th birthday of the Royal New Zealand Returned Services Association. We remember our veterans who left their homes and loved ones because they believed that the freedom, the justice and the country they loved, were under threat and in need of protection. The fruit of their sacrifice lies in the freedom we enjoy - and often take for granted.

In her ANZAC address, Her Excellency the Governor General, Dame Silvia Cartwright, put it this way: "The ANZAC story continues today. It is in the faces of our young people who have not witnessed the horror of war and in the every-day freedoms we enjoy today. The freedoms we have come to expect in a way our grandparents never did, or could."

As we remember those fallen, we also recall our soldiers who continue to uphold the ANZAC legacy: defending the rule of law in the troubled Solomon Islands, braving bombs in the Sinai desert, and peacekeeping in East Timor and Bougainville. Where our soldiers serve or have served, they continue to uphold our commitment to a peaceful and just world.

The ANZAC dedication, by Laurence Binyon, speaks of "the torch" of freedom thrown to us by the war dead. It is ours, "to hold it high". Each ANZAC Day, we renew our commitment to keep the torch burning, and to give thanks for those who have and do tend it. We will remember them.

New Bill Will Help Save Lives

The importance of organ donation and the need for change was highlighted recently, when MP Dr. Jackie Blue's Human Tissue (Organ Donation) Amendment Bill, was drawn from the Private Members ballot.

New Zealand is facing a drastic shortage of organ donors. While South Australia has 22 registered donors per one million people and the UK has 13, New Zealand has only 9, and is facing increasing demand because of advances in medical technology. At the moment, a person can only be a registered organ donor if they have a valid driver's licence. This rules out those who cannot drive or choose not to. There is no option to specify which organs a person wishes to donate, for instance, their kidneys, but not their cornea. The wishes of the donor are not binding, the process of driver licensing is itself bureaucratic and expensive, and the law is outdated. The result is that while one million people have "donor" on their licence, few organs actually make it to the people who need them.

Dr. Blue's Bill, which simplifies the process of donating organs and clarifies and updates the law, is a move long overdue. The Bill would establish a central Organ Donation Register, simplifying the process of registration. It will provide for medical professionals to respect both the wishes of the deceased, and the wishes of their surviving family. The donor may make specific requests as to the organs donated, and the use to which these organs may be put.

While many people have good reasons for refusing to donate their organs, those who do so, perform a vital function, quite literally, for their neighbours. All who volunteer to donate their heart or their lungs are giving to someone who is probably very different from them. Without knowing their specific ethnicity, religion, illness, politics or family circumstances, they volunteer to help strangers. Why? Because we are all human and human life is precious. Giving a part of one's self to help a stranger live is a selfless and admirable act.

Any measure which enables people to express their wishes in a more simple and efficient way is to be welcomed, and if the new Bill boosts the rate of organ donations, it will not only have cut red tape, it will have helped save lives.

To read the Human Tissue (Organ Donation) Amendment Bill, visit: http://www.clerk.parliament.govt.nz/Content/BillsDigest/1350HumanTissue(Or ganDonation)1.pdf (To view .PDF's you will need Adobe Reader: http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html)

To read more about organ donation, visit: http://www.givelife.org.nz

Overseas Insight Vital For Local Community

Each year, Winston Churchill Fellowships provide New Zealanders with the opportunity to travel abroad and research topics ranging from youth mentoring, to domestic violence and manufacturing. The nine latest winners were recently announced. The fellowships exist to enable New Zealanders to experience projects in other countries and use this insight to help their local community back home. The fellowships are provided by the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust which was established 46 years ago.

Interestingly, the rationale behind the fellowships is the promotion of "world peace and greater international understanding". Sir Winston Churchill was often regarded as something of a war-monger, and certainly prior to the beginning of the Second World War, he was often excluded and ostracised because of this perception. But examining history, hindsight paints a different picture. Churchill understood war's brutalities better than most, but he was also a realist. He knew that as a last resort, war, on occasions, was inevitable.

Churchill saw the need for people to be vitally engaged with other countries and rejected the idea that isolationism was a strong and positive foreign policy. Rather, he understood that trends in different nations have an impact beyond their borders. He was able to lead the defeat against Nazism, only because he knew and understood, what was happening in Nazi Germany. The advent of globalisation has proved Churchill right. In the modern world, nations are indeed deeply connected.

Churchill made many personal sacrifices, placing the needs of his community and country before his own. It is therefore remarkably fitting that in his memory, New Zealanders are encouraged to travel and gain insight into what is happening overseas, not for their personal benefit however, but in order to benefit the community to which they belong.

For more information about the New Zealand Winston Churchill Memorial Trust: http://www.dia.govt.nz/diawebsite.nsf/wpg_URL/Services-Trust-&-Fellowship- Grants-New-Zealand-Winston-Churchill-Memorial-Trust?OpenDocument#four

In The News: Maxim Institute Wins International Award

This week, Maxim Institute was delighted to announce that its Parent Factor series of education policy reports, had won the Innovative Projects category of the Sir Antony Fisher International Memorial Awards. Maxim Institute was a winner among 70 nominations from 30 think tanks around the world, and Policy Manager Nicki Taylor, who was present at the Fisher Awards banquet in Colorado Springs (USA) on the weekend, received the award on the Institute's behalf.

The Fisher Awards are given by the Atlas Economic Research Foundation for outstanding publications which advance the ideals and achievements of Sir Antony Fisher, in particular, his defence of freedom and dedication to liberty. The Parent Factor series recommended that schools have greater freedom to respond to the needs of their community, and was therefore a worthy recipient of this prestigious award.

For more details about the Fisher Awards and to read Maxim Institute's media release, visit:
http://www.maxim.org.nz/main_pages/news_page/R060426.php

In The News: Civil Unions One Year On

Wednesday 26 April marked one year since the Civil Union Act 2004 came into effect. In that time, 460 civil unions have been registered, along with over 21,000 marriages.

Maxim's Communications Manager, Amanda McGrail, discussed the anniversary of the Act and Maxim Institute's proposed alternative on TVNZ's Breakfast programme on Wednesday. To watch the interview, visit: http://tvnz.co.nz/view/page/488124/706530

To read Maxim Institute's media release, visit:
http://www.maxim.org.nz/main_pages/news_page/R060425.php

In The News: A New Investment Opportunity That Supports Maxim Institute

This independent secured investment opportunity for on-call funds provides competitive returns for both the investor and Maxim Institute. For more information, please reply to this email and we will send you the material.

Talking Point

"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

John Stuart Mill (1806 - 1873)

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Real Issues is a weekly email newsletter from Maxim Institute. The focus is current New Zealand events with an attempt to provide insight into critical issues beyond what is usually presented in the media. This service is provided free of charge, although a donation to Maxim is appreciated. Items may be used for other purposes, such as teaching, research or civic action.

ENDS


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