Veterans Minister, Meka Whaitiri has congratulated the Royal New Zealand Returned and Services’ Association (RSA) on 100 years since the first Poppy Appeal in New Zealand, held on April 24, 1922.
“This is an incredible century of work by the RSA that has provided thousands of New Zealanders the opportunity to remember our veterans and feel pride in New Zealand having done our bit in providing a safer world for the generations to come,” said Minister Whaitiri.
“This year the RSA’s Poppy Appeal aims to raise awareness of our younger veterans, of which there are over 30,000 under the age of 50.
“These men and women have served in areas from Bosnia to Timor-Leste, the Middle East and the Indian Ocean, Afghanistan, across the Pacific and even Antarctica.”
This year’s Poppy Appeal will run throughout the month of April, with the street appeal Poppy Day taking place tomorrow (Friday 22 April). The Poppy Appeal and Anzac Day commemorates New Zealanders killed in war and honours current and ex-servicemen and women.
“I encourage all New Zealanders to support the RSA and help to allow them to continue their important work,” Ms Whaitiri said.
Further information on this year’s Poppy Appeal can be found on the Royal New Zealand Returned and Services’ Association website here.
Minister Whaitiri will be representing the New Zealand Government in its return to ANZAC commemorations on the Gallipoli Peninsula, in Turkey. The Minister is travelling from 21-28 April.
A recorded video message from the Veterans Minister can be found here.