Here's What I Think
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Sir Edmund Hillary

As someone who was privileged to have met Sir Ed and some of the more senior members of his family, I was deeply moved at his funeral.

Sir Ed got to the top! Let's not mess with words - it was the highest of the high.

But even more important he left an example. Not only do you need guts, courage, stickability and all those obvious things - you also need practice and meticulous planning.

But his style is a key to his success.

He would say to his kids "Let us have an adventure today" - and go and have an adventure.

It does not really matter what your adventure is today - so long as it is fun, is challenging and is shared.

Let us keep this wonderful image before all New Zealanders - adventure, fun, challenge and sharing.

Sir Ed also did wonderful things for the Sherpas - but he had a few rules. We only do what you ask for, we only do it in a way that matches your needs, is compatible with your way, we only do it if you and us can do some of the essential work and we do the basics, not the fancy stuff.

As someone who has worked for the Asian Development Bank on aid projects I have seen some appalling waste of effort and cultural insensitivity.

Seeing Sir Ed established a wonderful relationship with the Sherpa let us as a government fully support it in Sir Ed's name with the same attitudes - and at least the same amount of money.

Come on, Helen - you like mountain climbing - leave behind a great memorial!

And while we are about it why not make the 29th May a statutory holiday - Adventure Day - when every family is encouraged to take the kids out on an adventure. What a really fitting memorial!

And if the government (or employers) are too mean to give us an extra holiday then why not swap Queens BirthDay for Adventure Day.

And if you think that might be a bit tough on the Queen what about having both until QE II passes on?


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