As you will be aware a sub-committee of the Royal New Zealand Navy Communicators Assn was formed and comprises of Gary Houghton, Rod Berry, John Titmus, Neal Catley and Frank Rands. (sorry no army or air representatives)
We recently met and thought it was time to bring you up to date with the activities we have been involved in. There are a number of issues under consideration.
- FESR and SE ASIA Medallic Recognition. This issue has been under consideration by the committee for at least 5 years with submissions and letters have been written to 4 Minister of Defence Coleman, Brownlee, Mitchell and now Mark. The result has been that after many hours of work NZDF have agreed to re-look at the work undertaken by the Joint Working Group. An independent panel was to be formed but there is no indication that this has occurred. In Feb 2018 the association had an undertaken that the NZDF would keep us advised and again this has not occurred. Earlier this month (November) a further submission was presented and NZDF were approached directly to ascertain the status of our requests. We now await a response from the Minister of Defence and Chief of Defence Force to our correspondence. Be aware we do not intend to give up on this issue and other groups are now starting to pick up the mantle as well. Further details will be advised in 2019.
- The ‘Right of Burial’ . After much research it has been discovered that prior to 1997 the Burial and Cremations Act 1964 provided the rights of all persons who served in Her Majestys Forces to be buried in the Service Section of their local cemetery. In 1997 these rights were removed and replaced with those persons who hold Operational Qualifying Service i.e. this means you had to have served in a war, peacekeeping mission or during a period and location. Three departments were involved in removing the rights of thousands of servicemen and women without due consultation. They were Internal Affairs, the NZDF and the Returned Servicemens Association. The report to Governemnt was that there were no submissions received against the change in legislation so that it should proceed. A letter has been sent to the Minister of Health who administers this Act requesting that this legislation be amended to reflect the pre 1997 wording of clause 15.
- Watch this space and hopefully 2019 will resolve the outstanding issues.