RSA National Council - Report from Jenepher Glover - Dunedin RSA President - 7th Nov 2012

RSA National Council - Report from Jenepher Glover - Dunedin RSA President Greetings to all

The RSA National Council meeting was held over three days; 15-17 October 2012, at the Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington. The Dunedin RSA was represented by Stu Grant and myself. Margaret Eskrick and Marie Marshall attended for the first two days on behalf of the Welfare Trust.


The council meeting began with the very poignant ceremony at the Carillion, (National Memorial). Wreaths were laid by the RNZRSA, and representatives from the Australian Returned & Services League, Ken Doolan, and John Farmer, the Chairman of the Royal British Legion. The head boy and girl from St Mark’s School also laid wreaths.

The format for the first day changed from previous years in that no welfare forums were held, instead the focus of the first session was on the forthcoming WW1 commemorations, and the strategic direction being taken by the RNZRSA in planning for that.

The second session focussed on the re-branding, and all associations were urged to become “contemporary with a retro twist”. Many delegates said that this was all very well but a lot of associations did not have the cash to instigate the new brand.

RSAs were urged to:

• Increase the customer experience
• Attract younger associate members
• Get out and meet prospective members in the community

During the third session, Surgeon Captain Alison Drewry, Director of Defence Health spoke about health and fitness within the serving military. This was followed by John Farmer, who spoke on welfare issues in the United Kingdom. At the conclusion of his address he showed a video on the rehabilitation facilities available to veterans in the UK.

Margaret Snow, National Manager, Welfare, gave an overview of support services.

The Prime Minister, John Key, spoke at the Formal Opening Ceremony, and announced additional Government funding for veterans. The funding package adopts in full, or in part, 132 of the 170 Law Commission’s recommendations from its review of the War Pensions Act 1954 and provides new funding of $60 million over the next five years to implement these changes.

Day 2

The second day of the conference began with an address by Jonathan Brumley, Winner of the National Bank RSA Cyril Bassett VC Speech Competition.

The forthcoming WW1 Centennial celebrations were then talked about once more, and included details of the memorial park to be built across from the Carillion. An address by Ken Doolan, on how Australia was preparing for the event, follwed.

Bridget Ridden from the Department of Internal Affairs, then spoke about funding and urged associations to visit their website and apply for funding in order to celebrate the Centennial. There is a total of $30 million available. RSAs will have to actively demonstrate that there is a benefit to the community from the project that they are applying to fund at the time of making the application.

The closing dates for applications are 28 November 2012 and 29 May 2013.

The website is:

Telephone: 0800 824 824

Local associations and branches are encouraged to publicise their initiatives on the website:

The RNZRSA will be putting out some guidelines and resources to help us with our Commemoration planning.

The AGM then commenced, which included the elections of two National Presidents. Those elected were the encumbents; BJ Clark and David Moloney. The National President, Don McIver, was returned unopposed. Upon the election of four elected members, Robert Hill, Graeme Pleasants, John Smith and Clive Collingwood, the first of the business sessions began, which involved disussions and subsquent voting on remits.

(Remits are attached in PDF).

The second day ended with an address by the Minister of Veterans Affairs, the Honourable Nathan Guy.

Day 3

The third, and final day of the conference began with an address by the Chief of the Defence Force, Lieutenant General Rhys Jones. Lt General Jones spoke for over an hour, and spoke frankly on the current state of the defence force and the alliance with the USA.

Once the final remits were discussed andvoted on, the Auditors were appointed, and the Timekeeper, Scruitneers and the Returning Officer were thanked. The date of the 97th National Council meeting was set for 14-16 October 2013, and the meeting then ended.

Please do not hesitate to contact me, if you wish to discuss anything contained in this report, or you want something expanded on.


Phone 03 471 4905
027 272 0180

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