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Farewell to Sir David Beattie and Michael Hooper

Hon Trevor Mallard Speech Notes

Farewell to Sir David Beattie and Michael Hooper Banquet Hall, Parliament Buildings


There's something about this millennium that brings with it a mood for change. Tonight we are acknowledging two changes - changes in the lives to two people who have made a huge mark on the world of sport in New Zealand.

During the 1990's the Olympic Movement in New Zealand truly blossomed. Tim Castle has explained some of the areas where real progress was achieved. Services to athletes and administrators are exceptional.

I have no doubt that New Zealand's Olympic Movement is among the very best in the world. Many people have contributed to this, but perhaps few have done more than Sir David and Mike Hooper.

Among all the nations in the Olympic family, we must be "the cleanest of the clean". The NZ Olympic Committee is scrupulously fair and honest in all of its dealings. This is what you'd expect with one our country's greatest ever juror presiding over matters.

I won't repeat all that has been said already. But I want to give Sir David a vote of genuine thanks on behalf of the sporting public of New Zealand.

It is fitting that Sir David's Olympic role has ended at the Olympic Games in Sydney. Not many people know that he is a Sydneysider himself. Like the great Dick Seddon, one of our best imports.

When the history of New Zealand sport in the 20th Century is written, the name Beattie is going to feature hugely. He has been the patron or president of so many organisations, including the NZ Sports Foundation.

We may as well just cut to the chase and refer to him as "The Patron of New Zealand Sport".

It would be a fitting title. What has always impressed me most is the energy he has given to his many roles. To him these are not mere titles or positions of honour. He treats each one as a job, and a job that must be done well.

The workload has been enormous, but he has never flinched from it.

Like so many Kiwis, he does it because he wants to help. He is the typical volunteer, giving his precious time without the expectation of reward.

So on behalf of the sporting public, Sir David, I want to thank you for all those late night hours and weekends that you have given to the Olympic ideal in New Zealand and overseas.

I want to also acknowledge the great contribution of Dame Norma, who has let you serve the sports community for so long. The sports world owes a debt of honour to you too, Dame Norma. I congratulate you both on your Golden Wedding anniversary this year.

Finally Sir David, I thank you for looking after New Zealand sports on the international scene:

Mike Hooper is known to the world of sport as "Hoops". Probably because he will jump through them if it will help an athlete or administrator.

Unlike Sir David, I have noticed Michael that there is no entry for you in Who's Who. I think this is an oversight by the editors.

Kind things have already been said about you so I will add my own voice, again on behalf of the sporting public.

Suffice to say that you have made an enormous difference to the way the Olympic Committee has run since your arrival from out of the blue in 1991. You have been a key part of "The Beattie Years", and have professionalised the organisation beyond recognition.

You have been a true friend to the people who you have worked with.

Now we wish you all the best for your next assignment. It is a major job. It involves nothing less than securing the future of the Commonwealth Games.

The issues will be complex and demanding, and will call for good old fashioned Kiwi ingenuity and forthrightness. So you are perfectly qualified!

The best thing that can be said of someone is that they have made it tough for their successor to do better. Mike, you have certainly done that.


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