RSA president: 30,000 young veterans still need us

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Section
Audio,
Publish Date
Sunday, 20 January 2019, 10:29a.m.

A report has revealed a blunt message has been delivered to the country’s RSA clubs: change or die.

However, the RSA President says that he does not expect much to change. 

A comment as part of an internal report carried out for the organisation is warning RSAs won’t last, unless they can find ways to appeal to young people.

It found many members are concerned about the RSA’s future.

RSA National President Barry Clark told Francesca Rudkin that the RSA's were founded to support veterans returning from wars.

As the populations of small towns have got smaller, many RSA's have had to close, which Clark says is only right.

"If they are insufficient, they should close down."

Clark says that they are aware of the issues around needing to change and have been looking at how to fix the issue. 

However, Clark says that these criticisms aimed at RSAs tend to come from people who react without understanding.

"We have so many committed people around this country who spend hours and hours of their voluntary time, and are committed to travelling miles and miles, to ensure that those who have served receive the support they need." 

He says there are over 30,000 people who have served, and they are still going to need support. 

"We're going to need to be there to support them."

Clark says they are working with Defence to help young people.

LISTEN TO BARRY CLARK TALK TO FRANCESCA RUDKIN ABOVE