Herald on Owen Glenn

Today’s Herald Editorial:

The events that were to keep him in the news this year are too fresh in the memory to need mention here. But one element of the saga has gone too little noted and the year should not pass without it being observed. The lengths to which went to ensure the truth became known were a testament to a commitment to this country that is truly remarkable in someone who left it all of 42 years ago and made his fortune and several homes in the wider world. …

When his word was challenged before Parliament’s privileges committee he cared enough to come back to the country with telephone records and allow us to compare his candour and consistency with that of Mr Peters. It was no contest. He probably does not appreciate the full scale of the good he has done for New Zealand’s public life. …

In the 42 years since he lived here he has been far from a stranger to the country and its politics. But the particular poisons that Mr Peters preached when it suited him, the language he used and postures he took to pretend he was uniquely honourable in New Zealand politics, would not have been as evident to the occasional visitor.

Mr Glenn would be less than human if his attachment to his country has not been soured somewhat by his experience of its politics this year. His year-old medal probably feels a little tarnished but he should be assured it is not. He has repaid the honour a hundredfold, not so much by discrediting a political poseur but by simply demonstrating how much this country can still mean to someone who has been gone so long and done so well.

New Zealand agonises these days about the numbers of its young who migrate for larger incomes and wider opportunity. We probably worry too much. Owen Glenn was an extreme example of the attachment that many, probably most, expatriates share. It is something we must honour and nurture. We need to let him know.

New Zealand does indeed owe Mr Glenn a lot. I say arise Sir Owen 🙂

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