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Conservation Corps Graduation - Anderton Speech

Hon Jim Anderton
10 April 2001 Speech Notes

Conservation Corps Graduation

Graduation of the Salvation Army Conservation Corps Course
Christian Holiday Park,
Reynolds Beach Road.
Silverstream

4.30PM Tuesday, 10 April 2001


I would like to congratulate the Graduates of this course.

This is truly a milestone for you.

Some of you won't have enjoyed too many days like this.

Days when you could look back and say, "I accomplished something. I'm proud of myself. I know I can achieve much more."

Now you know you can achieve something.

You should find confidence in yourselves because of that.

The challenge is now to go out and put your new skills and your pride to good use for yourselves.

I believe that in the end, you are the only person who can take responsibility for yourself.

This course has given you an opportunity to discover some of the things you can achieve.

It has helped you to learn some new skills.

The greatest skills are those within you.

And so I am pleased to be here as Deputy Prime Minister to acknowledge your milestone.

To offer encouragement to you to do more.

It takes guts to accept that you need to change or to grow.

It takes courage and strength to see a course through to the end.

And if you have the guts to do that, then you have the guts to achieve anything you want.

When I was a school boy, I went to a rough school in Auckland.

They used to think that most of us wouldn't amount to much.

But there were boys who over-came that.

„X Our First XV

„X Bruce McLaren.

„X The school rowing team.

The point is that it doesn't matter where you come from, or what other people think about you.

What matters is that you believe in yourselves and try to succeed.

The course you have completed today will help you to do that.

I know that my colleague, the Minister of Corrections Matt Robson is supportive of this course.

He faces some difficult decisions because he has a limited amount of money.

He is working hard to introduce new drug and alcohol programmes.

Most people who have been in the criminal justice system have had problems with alcohol or drugs.

So that's a priority.

He has to build more prisons, because New Zealanders keep voting for more prisons.

And that's expensive.

But I know he is also looking for ways that he can continue programmes like this if he can find the money needed.

He's doing that because he knows that this course offers you a chance.

New Zealanders need to know that if we can help young people in the early years, then there is a pay-off for the whole of our society.

If you can take the skills you have learned here and turn your lives around, then you will be better off.

Your families will be better off.

The Government will be better off because we won't have to keep picking up the pieces.

Your neighbours will be better off.

And I hope a lot of employers are better off too ¡V because they're going to get some fine workers out of this course.

Maybe, some of you will grow and become employers yourself one day.

It's up to you.

Your graduation today means you have made a new start.

You have your whole lives to go.

It's up to you to succeed in that, too.

I want to congratulate you on your achievement and wish you all the best for the future.


¡KEnds.

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