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PM Motion on Death of Corporal Doug Grant

The Hon Dr Pita Sharples

Maori Party Co-Leader | MP for Tamaki Makaurau

PM Motion on Death of Corporal Doug Grant

Hon Dr Pita Sharples, Co-leader of the Maori Party

In te Ao Maori, the pursuit of kotahitanga - to travel as one – is a quality much admired.

Ma te kotahitanga e whai kaha ai tātau.
In unity, we have strength.

In making the ultimate sacrifice for his people and his country, Corporal Doug Grant demonstrated the courage and the commitment he gave on behalf of us all.

And so today, we in the Maori Party mourn his untimely death along with all other parties in this House.

A death so far away in Kabul, yet a death serving under the authority of the New Zealand SAS; representing our country with great honour and pride.

Corporal Grant had taken on the responsibility of training the Afghan national security force and accompanying them on their mission, when he was fatally gunned down by a hail of bullets.

He was killed while trying to rescue civilians - three British people and two Gurkha security guards – who just happened to be in the path of fire. It was an act of heroism – a brave and valiant act which will be forever associated with his life – and indeed his death.

There is no greater sacrifice than to give your life for another – and I want to place on record our complete sympathy and aroha for wife Tina, and for their seven-year-old daughter and their five-year-old son – who have to endure such a devastating sacrifice in losing a beloved husband and father

It is the scale of loss for the family that must occupy our thoughts in this final tribute – the parents, grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews, who no longer have Dougie in their lives.

There will be other times when we must address our contribution in Afghanistan and the impact it takes upon our troops. Today it is appropriate to focus on the very human toll made on the family, on his SAS colleagues, and indeed the entire defence force.

Doug packed a lot into his 41 years - and it is probably his five brothers that will know only too well the extent of the loss his children must endure.

One of those brothers, Stuart Grant, summed it up:He truly was a deep thinker, sometimes instinctive but never impulsive. He was the whole package, Doug. And it’s important to remember this for those of us who let him go".

Ano ra e te rangatira, haere, haere, hoki atu ra.

ENDS

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