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Good afternoon everyone.

It is a privilege to be speaking here today as Minister of Veterans’ Affairs.

It is great to see so many people gathered here as we commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Crete.

I would like to acknowledge the distinguished guests who are with us today:

  • Judith Collins
  • Veterans' Affairs

Ladies and gentlemen

Thank you for that warm welcome.

It is a pleasure to be with you here today.

All our thoughts are with the people of Japan this afternoon as they confront an unimaginable crisis.

As a nation that is, itself, coming to terms with a major catastrophe, we share their grief and their sorrow at this time of great loss and uncertainty.

When the earthquake struck Christchurch on 22 February, Japan was quick to offer help.

Their people were on the ground just days after the quake struck.

  • Judith Collins
  • Corrections
  • Police
  • Serious Fraud Office
  • Veterans' Affairs

Good morning Dame Catherine Tizard, your Worship the Mayor, Brigadier David McGregor, and other honoured guests and members of the New Zealand Army and Reserve.

  • Judith Collins
  • Veterans' Affairs

Worship the Mayor of Papakura District, Calum Penrose

Commanding Officer 1 NZSAS GP, Lt Col Jim Blackwell ONZM

Ambassador Ms Annelies Boogaerdt of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

  • Judith Collins
  • Veterans' Affairs