The following is advice from Veteran Affairs
As you know some legislation needed to be passed earlier this year to clear the way for the Minister for Veterans to retrospectively declare as qualifying operational service those deployments which had started or concluded before the Veterans’ Support Act came into effect in late 2014.
The necessary legislation––the Veterans’ Support Amendment Act 2019––was passed in June. Once this had happened, Veterans’ Affairs was able to immediately resume its review of deployments post-1974 which are not at present considered to be qualifying operational service.
I am pleased to let you know that the first retrospective declarations of qualifying operational service since the new Act passed have now been made by the Minister, and they were gazetted yesterday.
All NZDF personnel who served in deployments to the Former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (1 January 1992 – 31 July 2019), Timor-Leste (1 August 1999 – 31 July 2019), and the Solomon Islands (1 April 2000 – 31 July 2019) will now be eligible for support and services from Veterans’ Affairs. Previously only a limited number of operations in these places were covered.
These declarations and others which are made in the future will specify geographical areas where service has taken place, rather than naming specific operations, and this will make it clear exactly who is being recognised in the declarations.
As an example, previous declarations relating to Timor-Leste have covered only land-based operations. This week’s declaration means that naval personnel who served in the waters off Timor-Leste are also now eligible for cover under the Veterans’ Support Act.
There are still a number of other deployments not at present covered by the Act which we are reviewing, so further declarations are likely.