Government extends support for veterans

Minister for Veterans Ron Mark, has today announced that all veterans who served in the Former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Timor-Leste and the Solomon Islands are now eligible for support and services from Veterans’ Affairs.

“Veterans’ Affairs has been reviewing deployments after 1974 to check whether they should qualify as operational service under the Veterans’ Support Act 2014,” says Ron Mark.

“So far 38 deployments have been reviewed, with over 70 more reviews to go. Today’s announcement will affect around 1600 people. While some of these people will already qualify for veterans’ support from other deployments, for some this will be the first time they are able to receive support from Veterans’ Affairs.

“Previously, only a limited number of specific operations in these locations were covered under the Act. From now on, the entire geographical area where operations occurred will be covered.

“For example, previous declarations relating to Timor-Leste have covered only land-based operations. This declaration means that Naval personnel who served in the waters off Timor-Leste are now eligible for cover under the Act.

“This is helping to level the playing field for many New Zealand veterans.

“Since the legislation change in 2014, many new factors are now considered when assessing if someone has been at significant risk of harm on a deployment. The review is running the ruler over post-1974 deployments to see if any that haven’t previously made the cut would now qualify.

“These declarations were made possible by the recent passing of the Veterans’ Support Amendment Act, which corrected a drafting error in the original 2014 legislation

“The recent amendment had unanimous support in Parliament, and I thank all members of the House for the expedited process that took place. That demonstrated how revered our veterans are by New Zealanders, and how united Parliament is in ensuring there is adequate support for them when they return home,” Ron Mark said.

WHEN ARE THEY GOING TO REVIEW PRE 1974 DEPLOYMENTS?  These deployments were also mentioned in parliament during the second reading of the Amendment Bill to the Veterans Support Act and to date we have received no notification/acknowledgement that Veterans Affairs are going to review pre-1974 deployments.  We will then see how revered our Veterans really are.  Come on Veteran Affairs.

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4 Responses to Government extends support for veterans

  1. Neal Catley says:

    Perhaps in the den of night one of Satan’s fiery jabberwock badass fairies paid a surreptitious visit while sleeping and sprinkled bucket loads of dingleberry plonker dust over me. Reason. Noting Ron Mark’s factual generous comments about how revered New Zealand veterans are and the need of Parliament to provide adequate support to each and every one of them, I cannot for the life of me understand why the review is not running the ruler over pre-1974 deployments. Are those NZ ex service men and women considered ‘Persona no grata’ and, as such, not able to be considered for NZ Veteran status? If not! Why not? Can someone please explain this conundrum.

  2. James D says:

    I personally think that the army veterans are quite happy with their lot. They have veteran status and NZ Medals for Malaya, Malaysia, Borneo and Vietnam – thanks to their former high ranking officers. I mention NZ medals as opposed to British, Malaysian or Vietnamese medals. Lt Col John Masters MC ONZM was instrumental in obtaining a complete package for the Vietnam Vets. I can’t recall any high ranking RNZN officers who went in to bat for us. All personnel who served on Operational Routine Service prior to 1 April 1974, are entitled to support from Veterans Affairs. Whether it be medical or home support, such as having your lawns mowed, gardens looked after, gutters cleaned out, etc. The only thing that isn’t in the offing is the word “Veteran”. Have a look at this https://www.veteransaffairs.mil.nz/get-support/ex-serving/

  3. Neal Catley says:

    Jim’s comment on RNZN senior officers is enlightening. The difference, however, between Operational Qualifying Service and Operational Routine Service regarding pre 1974 deployments is worthy of attention. Refer:
    https://www.veteransaffairs.mil.nz/eligibility/qualifying-service/
    Also, importantly, the Burial and Cremations Act does not presently recognise Operational Routine Service.

  4. James D says:

    The comments regarding high ranking officers (not senior) was in the past tense. The statement was certainly not meant to degrade the excellent work currently being carried out by the present batting pair of Frank and Neal.

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