Did you know about the Department of Internal Affairs Congratulatory Message Service?
I recently discovered a really interesting public service via the Department of Affairs that I personally never knew existed. I felt this discovery well worth sharing with the community as general knowledge for my article this month, albeit it’s nothing to do with legal matters.
You see, it all started with our family celebrating our parent’s 50th wedding anniversary in June this year. Earlier in the year someone whispered in my ear that if I applied to the Department of Internal Affairs our parents would get a card from the Prime Minister! Ooooooo – how exciting that would be, I thought: in for a penny, in for a pound. And so, me being me, I went and researched it to find out more.
To my astonishment I discovered a series of birthday and anniversary milestones eligible for application to the seemingly little-known DIA Congratulatory Message Service. Anyone can apply, and best of all – it’s free. The message service starts at a 50th Wedding anniversary and every 5-year anniversary thereafter, and birthdays of 100 years and over. I never knew or really thought about how people received telegrams from the Queen; but now I do, and it’s via a person applying to the DIA Congratulatory Message Service.
And so I applied on the super-easy online form, which I noted could also be printed and posted. Our parents were quite surprised and equally thrilled when, out of the blue, they received a very handsomely embossed congratulatory card from His Excellency The Governor-General (with gold writing and a gold tassel!), followed by lovely cards and thoughtful messages from each of the Prime Minister, the Minister of Internal Affairs, and their local Member of Parliament. They also received congratulatory cards with kind messages from other Members of Parliament. Politics aside, quite a haul and a real buzz for recognition of an occasion that doesn’t happen every day.
If you are thinking of applying to the congratulatory message service, do so at least 4-8 weeks before the anniversary. Information needed by the DIA includes the occasion being celebrated, date of birth or marriage, full names of the person/people receiving the congratulatory message, their postal address, electorate, and contact details of person making the application.
To find out more, go to: www.dia.govt.nz > For People Communities and Businesses > Congratulatory Message Service (scroll down the page until you see the Queen’s picture). I do hope readers tuck this information away and take advantage of the service in the future.