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Comrade Hillary

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Kia Kaha Helen, Good Luck in New York 

I admire her for knowing when to go, and doing so with a great deal of grace and dignity. And for acknowledging all the people who helped her along the way.

"Close personal support for me as Prime Minister came from my private office and the talented teams led by Heather Simpson and Alec McLean; and to this day comes from my parliamentary staff, Jacque Bernstein and Dinah Okeby as it has always come from generations of personal secretaries, researchers, press secretaries, messengers, diary secretaries, typists, and receptionists in the past.

Personal protection came from the Diplomatic Protection Squad of the New Zealand Police who stayed very close to me for the whole nine years. To DPS and the New Zealand Police across our country, thank you for your support. You are New Zealand's unsung heroes and deserve much greater recognition for what you do to protect us all.

Over the 22 years since I first became a Minister of the Crown, I have been not just driven but fully looked after and supported by the government drivers in the VIP service of the Department of Internal Affairs. I have come to know many well, and they are my friends. As a former Prime Minister, I am privileged to continue using their service, so today marks not an end, but an interlude. As General McArthur once famously said, "I will return.""



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