ANZAC - That GoodwillThursday, Apr 26, 2001
Another ANZAC day passes with time for national and personal reflection on the courage and sacrifice
that has become a cornerstone of how we see ourselves in the world and why we mange to influence
matters of interest way beyond our stature in world forums.
The goodwill generated by New Zealanders in uniform has been an important part of our success in maintaining
our trade in our traditional farm products. To a large degree our preferential treatment,
at the time of Britain's entry into the EEC, for our butter and lamb quotas was a direct recognition
of the special relationship arising out of the World Wars.
For much of the past fifty years the politicians and civil servants of Europe had first hand knowledge
of the willing characteristics of the average Kiwi.But times are changing. A new generation of
European politicians is moving into positions of influence they have no such shared experience on
which to base new associations.
That goodwill generated in those desperate times is now fast reaching the point where it is all used
up. In fact it seems that few Brits under the age of thirty have more than a superficial knowledge
of NZ and much of that is based on exaggerated personal contacts or else in a competitive sporting
Farmers of Britain in the 1970's were in the main staunch advocates of the equity of the continued NZ
trading arrangements that were put in place. Today's British farmer has no such scruples and pragmatically
views us as competitors with no prior right to their markets.
That NZ has enjoyed a privileged position as a result of the efforts of those that we commemorate today
is a given.
That further effort is required to progress their solid contribution remains the question of the future.
But the excitement is with the realisation that we are far better equipped to make that progress.
We can be proud of those that went before. Lets hope the same courage and willingness is with us in