CoastguardMana Saving Lives at Sea

Mana Coastguard’s launch of “CRV Pelorus”

05 Apr 2007
Posted by Mark Presling
Printer-friendly version


Here is a copy of the speech by Winnie Laban, MP for Mana and Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector, for the official launch of CRV Pelorus on Sunday 25 March 2007.


Taloha ni, Talofa lava, Malo e lelei, Fakaalofa lahi atu, Ni sa bula vinaka, Namaste, Kia orana koutou katoatoa, Ia Orana, Gud de tru olgeta, Talofa, Kia ora tatau and Warm Pacific Greetings to you all this afternoon. Thank you Chris for your opening remarks. It is my pleasure to be here with you all today both as MP for the Mana Electorate and as the Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector. I would particularly like to acknowledge Her Worship the Mayor Jenny Brash for her words, and my parliamentary colleague Tariana Turia who has joined us today.

In October last year, I had the honour of being ferried across to Mana Island by the Mana Coastguard to view the local flora and birdlife.

Although it was a rather lumpy sea, I knew that I was in the good hands of your well-trained and dedicated personnel – thank you for keeping me safe!

It is therefore with pleasure that I join you again today as your rescue fleet expands to include a new Coastguard Rescue Vessel, “CRV Pelorus”. I am sure that she will serve you and all the local boaties well in the future.

I understand that Mana Coastguard is a unit of Royal New Zealand Coastguard, which is New Zealand’s primary provider of maritime search and rescue services.

As you are a voluntary organisation, I appreciate that there would have been many hours of fundraising and planning that would have brought you to the point of launching CRV Pelorus today.

I congratulate Mana Coastguard and all your volunteers for this effort, and I commend you wholeheartedly for the dedicated and professional service that you provide, and that we all rely on.

I am always delighted to have an opportunity to meet volunteers, as I am passionate about supporting the work of volunteers in every way that I can. And for me, to be part of a government that recognises the value of volunteering and the voluntary sector is something to be proud of.

In 2001 the Labour-led government made a commitment to improving the way that it works with, and talks with, the community and voluntary sector, when it signed the Statement of Government Intentions for an Improved Community-Government Relationship.

One year later we signed the Government Policy on Volunteering, in which we had a vision of “a society with a high level of volunteering, where the many contributions people make to the common good through volunteering and fulfilment of cultural obligations are actively supported and valued.”

The community and voluntary sector is an independent and vibrant sector.

Government has a role to ensure that the environment within which voluntary organisations operate is a positive one that allows organisations and their volunteers to fulfil their potential.

We do this in a variety of ways.

First, we try to make the policy environment a friendly one.

A good example of this is the work our Government is currently undertaking to review tax policy in order to encourage giving to charitable and other non-profit organisations.

We hope that this will result in a substantial increase on the amount of monetary and non-monetary donations being given to voluntary organisations, so that the organisations are fully resourced to fulfil their goals.

Where the policy environment may seem to be a bit complex or where the sector has told us there are capability issues, we have sought to provide volunteers and their organisations with the resources they need.

For example, my own Office for the Community and Voluntary Sector worked with the New Zealand Federation of Voluntary Welfare Organisations to produce Keeping It Legal E Ai Ki Te Ture, a free resource to help community groups understand and meet their legal obligations.

Since its launch in December 2005 over 9000 hard copies have been distributed, and there have been over 21,000 hits on the online resource

The final way that we support community and voluntary sector organisations is through funding.

On our best estimates, government contributes over one billion dollars to the community and voluntary sector, and the demand for government funding continues to grow.

The range of those receiving this funding is as diverse as New Zealand society itself. And long may that reign. It is the variations within our communities that create their depth and richness.

We in government know that the financial support provided by government is not enough to cover everything that goes on in the community and voluntary sector in New Zealand and that you work very, very hard at a local level to raise the funds that you need to provide a service to – in your case – your seafaring community.

This is no small thing and it is thanks to organisations such as yours and the many volunteers who support your organisation that New Zealand is able to be so responsive to the needs of its many different communities – communities of interest and of ethnicity.

So thank you again for all the things you do for your community.


Meitaki Maata.


Syndicate content