South East Asia Medal or Not!

13 March 2014

Minister of Defence media statement

The Government agrees with the Medallic Recognition Joint Working Group’s report that military personnel who served in South-East Asia have been appropriately recognised and additional medallic recognition is not justified.

“I know today’s decision will be disappointing for the former service men and women who have petitioned for additional medallic recognition,” says Dr Coleman.

“I would like to thank those who made submissions, and also the Joint Working Group who conducted a comprehensive review of the issue.

“The Joint Working Group came to the unanimous conclusion that the valuable contribution made by service men and women in South-East Asia has already been appropriately recognised.

“The Government agrees with the Joint Working Group’s finding that the New Zealand Defence Service Medal is the appropriate medallic recognition for personnel who served throughout the world in a range of deployments that do not meet the criteria for operational service. Nearly all military personnel who served in South-East Asia from 1950 are eligible for this medal.”

The Medallic Recognition Joint Working Group: Service in South-East Asia 1950-2011 received 68 submissions. The Joint Working Group included representatives from the Royal New Zealand Returned and Services Association, Veterans’ Affairs New Zealand, and the NZ Defence Force.

THE FINAL REPORT OF THE MEDALLIC RECOGNITION JOINT WORKING GROUP: SERVICE IN SOUTH-EAST ASIA 1950-2011 and associated other documents can be downloaded by clicking HERE.   This is an interesting document which took 3 years for a JWG to consider and write.

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2 Responses to South East Asia Medal or Not!

  1. gunther says:

    did anyone think there was ever going to be a medal, the longer this played out the less chance of a medal. what a wast of time for those who made submissions, bugger me

  2. Casper says:

    Thanks for the offer Gunther but I hardly know you! There was some hope that if the JWG had actually taken notice of what was in the submissions and not just selected those parts that suited their purpose, the result MAY have been different, but my reading of their “interesting document” makes it obvious that such a selective approach took place. So at least my submission was a waste of time, and I suspect many of the others suffered the same fate. As I have said many times in the past, just look at the composition of the JWG—we really didn’t stand a hope in hell with that line-up but it took three years for us to be told. What an insult to all those who served over those years to be told that the Defence Service Medal with bar Kellogs Corn Flakes is really the appropriate recognition. We have been shafted once again and I have a very nasty feeling that it won’t be the last time that Veterans are treated in a similar fashion. Or, in the jargon above, “appropriately recognised”.

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