Key Notes 26/8/11: Remembering Corporal Doug Grant
26 August 2011
REMEMBERING CORPORAL DOUG GRANT
Yesterday I went to the private SAS memorial service for Corporal Doug Grant.
Corporal Grant, who was 41 years old, was killed in Afghanistan last Friday. He was shot while trying to rescue hostages from the British Council offices in Kabul, and died on the way to hospital.
His death is a stark reminder of the dangers our Defence Force personnel face while serving in Afghanistan.
My thoughts are with Corporal Grant's wife, Tina, his two young children, and his whole family. On Monday I'll be attending the Defence Force funeral at Linton Army Camp.
BUILDING FASTER BROADBAND
This week Communications and IT Minister Steven Joyce announced that more than 50,000 premises will get fibre for ultra-fast broadband in the next year. This includes homes, schools, hospitals, and businesses.
Broadband is a big part of National's plan for a faster-growing economy. Under our ultra-fast broadband initiative, 75 per cent of Kiwis will gain access to broadband speeds of 100Mbps or better over the next eight years. That's about 50 times the speeds currently available.
Our $300 million Rural Broadband Initiative will also make sure our rural homes, schools, and businesses get improved broadband speeds.
This work will make a huge difference to the lives of Kiwis. It'll help us overcome our distance from the rest of the world, create jobs, boost incomes, and build a stronger economy.
Click here to read more about National's work to build faster broadband.
HOSTING RUGBY WORLD CUP 2011
It's only two weeks to go until the Rugby World Cup kicks off. This is a really exciting time for New Zealand. It presents us with a huge opportunity to showcase our country and all we have to offer. We're expecting about 95,000 visitors from overseas and millions more will be watching from home.
I hope you make the most of the chance to enjoy some great rugby, support our team, and take part in festival events all over the country. I encourage you to buy tickets for a game or two if you haven't already, and have a look at the REAL New Zealand Festival programme at www.realnzfestival.com.
MINISTERS MEETING IN CHRISTCHURCH
I recently announced that Cabinet will meet in Christchurch on 5 September, to mark the anniversary of the first Canterbury earthquake that struck on 4 September 2010. It'll be the first time Cabinet has met outside Wellington in 16 years. After the Cabinet meeting, we hope to be able to give a full update on our progress in Canterbury so far.
FROM MY DIARY
This week Parliament was in recess, so I took the chance to get out and meet people around New Zealand. I spent some time visiting the locals in Otaki and Whanganui (click here for photos), before heading up to Auckland. This morning I spoke at a Howick/Pakuranga Grey Power meeting.
Tonight I'm going to the opening night of the World of WearableArt Awards Show in Wellington, which I'm sure will be a great evening.