A new national association has been launched today by the Royal New Zealand Returned and Services Association (RSA), providing an opportunity for all New Zealanders to become a member of the movement.
Launched at a “pop-up” RSA in central Wellington today, the new National Association makes it possible for Kiwis to “join up” even if they don’t live near an RSA club and regardless of whether they have any family or service connections to the military.
RSA National President Don McIver says their research shows many people are under the impression that you need to have served in the military or have some service connection to join the RSA.
From left to right, RSA National President Don McIver, Lieutenant General Timothy Keating, Chief of the New Zealand Defence Force, Phillip Meyer, Company and Investment Banker, Lieutenant General (Rtd) Richard Rhys Jones, former Chief of the New Zealand Defence Force and RSA Chief Executive David Moger.
“I think many people have traditionally regarded the RSA as a place for old soldiers, but for RSAs around the country, that is not the case. They are community hubs where people come to enjoy each other’s company, meet friends and family, and enjoy the hospitality that is on offer.”
However, with changes in society, not everyone wants to join a local club, said Mr McIver.
“People want to be able to engage with their peers online, and that is what prompted us to set up a national association. We know there are people who support the RSA’s ideals and objectives and this gives them the chance to be active.
“Kiwis from around the world will be able to join the new national association via our website and connect with our cause on an international scale.”
The new association also provides welfare for war veterans and their families, and assists with remembrance for New Zealand’s service men and women.
The National Association will also present an avenue for service personnel who don’t have a permanent address to join and participate in the RSA.
Mr McIver says the new association means anyone from anywhere can sign up to join the RSA online and, in doing so, support the work of the RSA at both a national and community level.
“Over recent years, we have seen a growing interest from younger New Zealanders to learn more about their family military history. We’ve seen this support in the growing numbers attending services on Anzac day and among those wearing poppies with pride.
“Many young Kiwis are keen to know more about our war heritage and be connected with that, and through an RSA membership, where we will focus on engaging with our members online, they can be,” said Mr McIver.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re 21 or 71 years old – our new National Association enables you to be part of a force for good in New Zealand that champions the Anzac spirit and everything it stands for.”
There are four “founding members” of the new national association who were formally acknowledged at the launch event in Wellington.
The four founding members are Lieutenant General Timothy Keating MNZM, Chief of the New Zealand Defence Force, Phillip Meyer FNZIM, FAIM, FFIN, Company and Investment Banker and Lieutenant General (Rtd) Richard Rhys Jones CNZM, former Chief of the New Zealand Defence Force and filmmaker Sir Peter Jackson.
The RSA National Association will provide a range of benefits to its members, allowing them to access Kiwi hospitality at great prices through the network of RSA clubs around the country, as well as social and sporting activities. It will also give them access to RSL clubs in Australia. Members will be provided with an RSA Club Card, granting them exclusive benefits and deals with a range of quality trusted brands.
The “pop-up” RSA, will be open from 7.30am - 5.00pm on October 3 and 9.00am – 3.00pm on October 4, at 200 Lambton Quay, Wellington.
To find out more about joining the RSA National Association, visit https://rsa.org.nz/join