If you are an ex serviceman/woman or, currently serving please read on. Under the current rules if you were lucky enough to have served in an operational theatre you will have received the Operational Service Medal and have notated on your service records that you have qualified for ‘Operational Service’. Please note that not all personnel in receipt of this medal qualify for ‘Operational Service’.
Well – “what does this entitle you to?” It entitles you to be buried in the service section of your local cemetery.
Now, if you were not so lucky to be posted overseas to an operational theatre but served in the New Zealand Defence Force and supported those who did serve overseas and did not qualify for ‘Operational Service’.
What does this entitle you to? NOTHING! Your service in the NZDF warrants for absolutely NOTHING and you are not entitled to be buried in the Service Section of your local cemetery.
So, it doesn’t MATTER:
- how many years you have served in the Armed Forces,
- that you took an Oath or Affirmation when you joined the NZDF,
- that you were willing to serve Her Majesty the Queen and thus put your life in jeopardy if the cause arose,
- that you were not posted to serve on a ship or ashore in an Operational environment and that you continued to provide support.
YOUR SERVICE TO YOUR COUNTRY AMOUNTS TO NOTHING! when it comes to your time to cross the bar.
NOW if you agree with the current entitlement regarding the Burial and Cremations Act 1964 then please do nothing.
However, if you think that your service in the NZDF should count and it should be recognised and that the current rules in the Burial and Cremation Act 1964 are out of touch then, I would encourage you to download and send the template letter by clicking HERE, place your address at the top of the page, date the letter, enter your local Member of Parliament name and SIGN it at the bottom but most importantly post it.
You are encouraged not to add anything further to the letter as experience has shown that personal comments may water down the letter and detract from its intent. DO IT NOW!
Other Avenues you may like to consider and raise this issue with:
Your local RSA
The National Office of the RSA
The Chief of Defence Force
The Minister of Veterans Affairs
Your local Naval Club
The Chief Petty Officer mentioned in the letter was Chief Petty Officer Yeoman of Signals Pokiha Hiini who recently passed away suddenly at Waiheke Island.
If you are currently serving in the New Zealand Defence Force and wish to support this initiative please check your rules for sending letters to your local Member of Parliament.