New Zealand Returned and Services’ Association (RSA) and its member clubs thank New Zealanders for their generosity in supporting our current and former service personnel through the 2017 Poppy Appeal.
The RSA’s 2017 Poppy Appeal raised $1.9 million in donations.
RSA National President BJ Clark said the RSA’s ability to support those impacted by service relied on public donation. Poppy Appeal funds are used exclusively to provide health, welfare and support to New Zealand’s current and former service personnel, and their families.
“We are grateful for the fantastic public support, for all our volunteers who contribute their time and effort, and for our corporate partners who contribute so generously to the Poppy Appeal. They make it possible to care for those who have served our country at home and overseas – whether or not they are members of the RSA,” he says.
These funds will assist in many ways, including assisting recovery from Post-Traumatic Stress Injury (PTSI), helping the families of current and former military personnel deal with health or hardship issues, or assisting those who have served rejoin civilian life once their time in uniform is done.
Clark says it is critical that the RSA and New Zealand as a whole understand that younger servicemen and women have been impacted by their time in uniform as much as their older predecessors were.
Many of those who serve – whether deployed in recent conflicts, or in routine service – face major challenges as a result of the actions and circumstances they witness and participate in.
“Military service – undertaken to help those who can’t help themselves – can take a significant toll, whether physical, mental, or on families. This money will go a long way towards helping address this,” Clark says.
Some highlights of the 2017 Poppy Appeal included:
- RSA members, including veterans and returned and servicemen and women, were out in force on Poppy Day and were joined in the street appeal by members of the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF), volunteer collectors and other supporters including members of the US armed forces stationed at the US Embassy in Wellington.
- The RSA Poppy Appeal was supported by a team of Poppy Appeal Ambassadors, including former All Blacks Captain and Royal New Zealand Navy sailor Buck Shelford; NZDF Liaison Officer for Family of the Fallen Sergeant Tina Grant; All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen; actor and comedian Oscar Kightley; singer and Royal New Zealand Navy reservist Rebecca Nelson; and filmmaker Sir Peter Jackson.
- The 2017 Poppy Appeal also featured unprecedented levels of support from corporate partners: Spark, NZME, Phantom Billstickers, ANZ, SKYCITY, Countdown, Perception Group, Z Energy, Sky and New Zealand Rugby.
About New Zealand’s service personnel:
- New Zealand currently has about 41,000 veterans of overseas military deployment: 11,000 from the period from WWII to Vietnam, with another 30,000 who served in in New Zealand’s 42 overseas deployments since 1974.
- Tens of thousands more New Zealanders have served without a recognised operational deployment – though may have undertaken disaster relief, ocean surveillance and rescue, or other challenging work.
- NZDF currently employs about 14,532 people: 11,667 service personnel, and 2,865 civilian staff.
Published on 26th June 2017