Written Questions – Veterans Update

You will be aware that 60 plus written question was asked in our parliament of Ron Mark, Minister for Veterans by Dan Bidois, MP for Northcote.  The questions were around the 60+ recommendations made by Professor Ron Patterson on completion of his nationwide review of the Veterans Support Act.   Ron Mark did not respond to each of the questions posed but provided a blanket response to cover the questions.  Here is his response.

Hon Ron Mark (Veterans (Minister – Ron Mark)) replied: The recommendations of the Paterson Report do not provide neat prescriptions for changes to legislation, policies or practice. They range from public policy matters to legislative reform and from process to operational matters.

Some may be actioned by officials through process or operational changes and do not require Government action. Others would require detailed policy consideration which could lead to, or require, legislative change.

All of the recommendations are kept under regular review and proposals to address them are in various stages of development. I will be making further statements on the progress of this work in due course.

I will leave it up to you to decide which recommendations have been accepted, which recommendations have been actioned, which ones have been included in current processes, which ones have been included in policy, which ones do not require Government action, which ones have been referred on to other organisations, which ones require legislative change and what does ‘in due course’ mean.

There were also 3 questions asked of Ron Mark about the recommendations of the Veterans Advisory Board which completed their deliberations about ‘What is a Veteran and How is New Zealand going to recognise these veterans’. Their review was completed on 30 June 2019. His response to all 3 questions is as follows:

Hon Ron Mark (Veterans (Minister – Ron Mark)) replied: I received an interim report from the Veterans’ Advisory Board at the end of June. I am considering it, and plan to discuss the report and its recommendations with my Cabinet colleagues in the coming weeks.

I will be making further statements on the progress of this work in due course.

A large number of Servicemen and women have been waiting years for the answer to this question and again I will leave it up to you to determine what does ‘in due course’ mean.

One Member of Parliament is not sitting on his hands and is asking pertinent questions of the Minister for Veterans Affairs with regard to the Veterans Advisory Board and the Ron Patterson Review of the Veterans Support Act.   At last, we have an MP  who is taking up the issues which are dear to all ex-servicemen and women.  Bravo Zulu Dan Bidois MP for Northcote.

Click on this link to view the questions

Ministers have six working days to provide a written answer to each question. Each answer is first sent to the MP who asked the question. Three days later, the answers are published on Parliament’s website.

So come on all you servicemen and women instead of leaving it up to a few to ask questions, seek out your local MP and request that he/she ask the questions which you are too afraid to ask.  Sadly, it is a trait of many servicemen and women to be lazy in this regard and leave it up to the few who are willing to take up the mantle.  If your service in support of your Country means something to you then get off your backside and do something.

There were also 3 questions asked about the recommendations of the Veterans Advisory Board which completed their deliberations about ‘What is a Veteran and How is New Zealand going to recognise these veterans’ . His response is


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5 Responses to Written Questions – Veterans Update

  1. Red Matthews says:

    Well said Frank.
    If ex Service members don’t want anything done, don’t do anything, but don’t whinge when nothing gets done.
    If you want to do something to stop the Merry go round that is the ongoing various Reviews,Updates, further reviews and Committees and “passing the ball” get onto your Representative and keep at them, after all that’s what we pay them for !
    I along with Colin Burgess approached our MP Dan Bidois last year with our concerns, his problem was that he had no knowledge of Veterans concerns, he has been enlightened, and has picked up the ball and appears to running with it, which I have to thank him for , so get onto your representative and maybe we may start to see a stop to the endless “Duck Shoving” that appears to be going on!
    What that old saying the squeaky wheel gets the oil!

  2. Neal Catley says:

    How refreshingly distracting it is to read that the MP for Northcote: Dan Bidois, on behalf of all NZ ex servicemen and women, is formally seeking – through the house – answers from the Minister on the 2017 Patterson Review of the Veterans Support Act. The Veterans Advisory Board forwarded their Review recommendations to the Office of the Minister well before the target date of 30 June 2019. Surely it is now time for action! Confucius say, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

  3. Neal Catley says:

    Ref: Written Questions – Veterans Update

    For now and many months passed it appears that MOD/NZDF/VANZ have metamorphosed itself into a contradictory decision making machine and if formally declared they’re UNITED in their consideration of ‘What is a NZ Veteran’ then, I am a transgender rattle snake with whooping cough! The departmental staff influencers with inconsistent verbiage that has oozed from their writing sticks has done as much damage to the Association remits and submissions as an ‘out-of-control’ plague of locusts ravaging a million hectares of wheat crops. Hideous, unsupportable and unbelievable that this could happen to NZ ex servicemen and women who have faithfully served New Zealand proud. Also, it seems those same influencers are doing their utmost to drag the country away from a democracy of fairness and reasonableness toward NZ ex service personnel into a forum of “State Knows Best” an ideology which formed the Communist Parties of Russia and China.
    Nota Bene! Given MOD’s parliamentary Hansard statements, now brought into sharper focus, I will be making further cautionary statements on progress, albeit glacial, on MOD’s approval of the Veterans Advisory Board recommendations in due course.

  4. Chook says:

    I’m reminded of statements from Humphrey Appleby over and over again as I cast my old eyes over the replies that are forthcoming on a regular basis, seems to me that as long as they’re saying something they think it will keeps the plebs quiet.

  5. Neal Catley says:

    Further to Chooks comments, for most of us who are pragmatic human beings, as opposed to certain MPs who often think their Ministerial portfolio as being the holy grail of intelligentsia, we can be excused for being somewhat cynical about their utterings as being so imprecise as to be mostly unreliable. As the years briskly drift by, the LACK of meaningful Veteran declaration, decisions and direction, especially, for our aging ex NZ military populus and their families who are patiently waiting for the government to recognise and reward their contribution to NZ is presently as helpful as King sized Udders on a Bull.

    In straightforward Matelot speak – Common On MOD/VA influencers – do the decent thing and ‘get your A into G’ before Saint Peter’s ‘Super Star Chariot’ packed with NZ ex military personnel departs station earth for higher office.

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