Written Questions to Hon Ron Mark – Update

For those of you who do not troll through the Parliamentary Website you may be interested to read the written questions posed to the Hon Ron Mark (Minister of Veterans) by Members of Parliament.  The answers to some of these questions are also displayed.

30016 (2018). Dr Shane Reti to the Minister for Veterans (15 Nov 2018): Does the Minister have a Royal New Zealand Navy representative on the Veterans Advisory Board and if not, what are the impacts this may have on our wartime defence?
Hon Ron Mark (Minister for Veterans) replied:  There is no specific representative of the Royal New Zealand Navy on the Board. No member has been appointed to the Board to represent the interests of any specific branch of the Armed Forces. Members were selected for the skills and experience they bring to their role, not for their Service affiliation. The Board is currently considering two questions: who should be considered a veteran and how New Zealand wants to recognise their service. The current members of the Board have been appointed specifically to look at these questions. Their appointments lapse on 31 July 2019. The topic under consideration is a broad one and I have appointed a cross-section of New Zealanders to examine it. While the majority have an Armed Forces background, this was not a requirement for appointment. The role of the Veterans’ Advisory Board has no implications for wartime defence.

29828 (2018). Dr Shane Reti to the Minister for Veterans (14 Nov 2018): What consultation has the Minister had, if any, in electing not to have a Royal New Zealand Navy representative on the Veterans Advisory Board?
Hon Ron Mark (Minister for Veterans) replied: I had no specific consultation which led me to elect not to appoint a Royal NZ Navy representative on the Veterans’ Advisory Board. This is because no member was appointed to the Board to represent the interests of any specific branch of the Armed Forces. All members were selected for the skills and experience they bring to their role, not for their Service affiliation. The topic which the Board is considering is a broad one and I appointed a cross-section of New Zealanders to examine it. While the majority have an Armed Forces background, this was not a requirement for appointment.

29827 (2018). Dr Shane Reti to the Minister for Veterans (14 Nov 2018): Why does the New Zealand Veterans Advisory Board not have a Royal New Zealand Navy representative on the board?
Hon Ron Mark (Minister for Veterans) replied: The Board is currently considering two questions: who should be considered a veteran and how New Zealand wants to recognise their service. The current members of the Board have been appointed specifically to look at these questions. Their appointments lapse on 31 July 2019. No member has been appointed to the Board to represent the interests of any specific branch of the Armed Forces. The topic under consideration is a broad one and I have appointed a cross-section
of New Zealanders to examine it. While the majority have an Armed Forces background, this was not a requirement for appointment. Members were selected for the skills and experience they bring to their role, not for their Service affiliation.

29827 (2018). Dr Shane Reti to the Minister for Veterans (14 Nov 2018): Why does the New Zealand Veterans Advisory Board not have a Royal New Zealand Navy representative on the board?
Hon Ron Mark (Minister for Veterans) replied: I did not consult the Royal NZ Navy, the New Zealand Army or the Royal NZ Air Force when considering potential appointments to the Veterans’ Advisory Board.

29826 (2018). Dr Shane Reti to the Minister for Veterans (14 Nov 2018): In electing not to have a Royal New Zealand Navy representative on the Veterans Advisory Board, did the Minister consult the Navy, if so, when and what was the nature of the consultation?
Hon Ron Mark (Minister for Veterans) replied: I did not consult the Royal NZ Navy, the New Zealand Army or the Royal NZ Air Force when considering potential appointments to the Veterans’ Advisory Board.

29825 (2018). Dr Shane Reti to the Minister for Veterans (14 Nov 2018): Will the Minister appoint a Royal New Zealand Navy representative to the New Zealand Veterans Advisory Board, and if so when, and if not why not?
Hon Ron Mark (Minister for Veterans) replied: I am not planning to make any further appointments to the Veterans’ Advisory Board. There are no vacancies on the Board.

29824 (2018). Dr Shane Reti to the Minister for Veterans (14 Nov 2018): Is the Minister aware of any of our Five Eyes partners not having a Navy representative on their equivalent Veterans Affairs Advisory Boards?
Hon Ron Mark (Minister for Veterans) replied: I am not aware of any of our Five Eyes partners having boards which are the equivalent of the Veterans’ Advisory Board and which are undertaking the sort of work which the Veterans’ Advisory Board has been appointed to undertake in the current financial year.

Questions which have been answered

19711 (2018). David Seymour to the Veterans (Minister – Ron Mark) (05 Sep 2018): Why is it unclear who should be considered a veteran?
Hon Ron Mark (Veterans (Minister – Ron Mark)) replied: There is no one common definition of the term “veteran” and the word is often used broadly within society – sometimes to refer to any person with a long tenure in any profession. It can be used to describe those who have served on military operations overseas – or sometimes to cover anyone who has served in any uniformed capacity, in the Army, Navy or Air Force. The definition in the Veterans’ Support Act 2014 is narrower. It refers to those who have had any service in the New Zealand armed forces before 1 April 1974, and those with “qualifying operational service” after that date. The definition of “qualifying operational service” covers service for New Zealand in the armed forces at a time of war, or in deployments overseas where a ministerial declaration has confirmed that those taking part could have been at significant risk of harm. If these people have been injured, or become ill because of their service, Veterans’ Affairs supports them to improve their health and quality of life. When Professor Ron Paterson undertook an independent review in 2017 of the operation of the Veterans’ Support Act 2014 (as required by that Act), a number of those who made submissions expressed disquiet about how the term “veteran” was defined in the Act. In his report (available at http://www.veteransaffairs.mil.nz/news/articles/review-report-released/), Professor Paterson stated: “the veteran community is deeply dissatisfied about who qualifies for entitlements….. The issue of who is considered an eligible veteran is a fundamental one that deserves re-examination.” Professor Paterson recommended that: “The Government undertakes further work on who is a veteran and how New Zealand wants to recognise their service.” I have accepted that recommendation and asked the Board to examine the issue.

19709 (2018). David Seymour to the Veterans (Minister – Ron Mark) (05 Sep 2018): Is there any reason why Veterans’ Affairs cannot determine who should be considered a veteran?
Hon Ron Mark (Veterans (Minister – Ron Mark)) replied: The specific function of the Veterans’ Advisory Board (the Board) is to provide advice to me on issues impacting on veterans, including advice on policies to be applied in respect of veterans’ entitlements. The Board is an independent statutory body established under section 247 of the Veterans’ Support Act 2014. This means that, while it will receive advice from Veterans’ Affairs, any advice it gives to me is independent. Therefore, the consideration of this question does represent the type of work that the Board was intended to be able to undertake when it was established by the previous National-led Government.

19708 (2018). David Seymour to the Veterans (Minister – Ron Mark) (05 Sep 2018): How long will it take the Veterans’ Advisory Board to determine who should be considered a veteran?
Hon Ron Mark (Veterans (Minister – Ron Mark)) replied: I have asked the Veterans’ Advisory Board to deliver its final advice to me, in the form of a written report, by 30 June 2019.

19707 (2018). David Seymour to the Veterans (Minister – Ron Mark) (05 Sep 2018): What is the annual budget of the Veterans’ Advisory Board?
Hon Ron Mark (Veterans (Minister – Ron Mark)) replied: The Veterans’ Advisory Board is one of three statutory boards and panels established under the Veterans’ Support Act 2014 by the previous National-led Government. Funding for these boards and panels is covered by an appropriation within Vote Defence Force. A sum of $284,000 is allocated on an annual basis to cover all costs of the three statutory boards and panels, and is unchanged from every fiscal year since the establishment of the Board.

15417 (2018). David Seymour to the Veterans (Minister – Ron Mark) (02 Aug 2018): What are his priorities for the portfolio and how will these priorities improve the lives of New Zealanders?
Hon Ron Mark (Veterans (Minister – Ron Mark)) replied: As Minister for Veterans, my priorities include: Consideration of recommendations from the review of the operation of the Veterans’ Support Act 2014, Improving services to veterans, Upholding our responsibility to military personnel, Partnering with veterans’ organisations, and Honouring our veterans. The delivery of these priorities will improve the lives of veterans, to which we owe a unique duty of care.

2047 (2018). Ian Mckelvie to the Veterans (Minister – Ron Mark) (15 Feb 2018): What are the Government’s priorities for the Veterans Portfolio in the next 12 months?
Hon Ron Mark (Veterans (Minister – Ron Mark)) replied: As Minister for Veterans, my priorities include: – Consideration of the review of the operation of the Veterans’ Support Act 2014 – Improving services to veterans – Upholding our responsibility to military personnel – Partnering with veterans’ organisations – Honouring our veterans

If you wish to view the written questions received by the Hon Ron Mark in the future. Click HERE.

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One Response to Written Questions to Hon Ron Mark – Update

  1. Thane Zander says:

    Thanks Frank, truly appreceiated.

    T.W. Zander 162 College Street Awapuni Palmerston North 4412

    MOB 021 0865 7767

    Sent from Mail for Windows 10

    ________________________________

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