FESR/ANZUK Recognition of Service – Update

The saga continues.  Earlier this year your Association provided the NZDF with a considerable amount of material supporting Medallic Recognition for service during the period 1965 – 1975.

The result of which was that CDF agreed to review the period again and set deadlines of 30 September 2019 for the NZDF initial review and investigation to be completed.  CDF also advised that he would have a recommendation to be forwarded to the Minister of Defence in the last quarter of 2019.

Your Association believed that this new review would be transparent and fair and the offer was made that members of the Association were available to be consulted if any items of inconclusiveness arose during the review.  The Association was not requested to provide any input into the 2019 review.  This is considered a huge anomaly by the NZDF as there is no experience within the NZDF who served during that period. Also, it is worthy of note that this was also the case for the previous review the results of which were made public in 2014 although at that time there were people serving in the NZDF who had experience of the period none were approached to assist.

After further prompting by the Association post 30 September 2019 our Association attempted to obtain an update as to the status of the review only to be advised yesterday by the person heading up the review that there were areas of inconclusiveness and that they were consulting with the Honours Unit, Cabinet Office and the Chair of the 2014 Review Panel.  SO MUCH FOR TRANSPARENCY AND FAIRNESS.  It was also stated that NZDF required the endorsement of these units before CDF could make a formal recommendation to the Government.  The correspondence went on to say that they would continue to have this work completed early next year.  No date was given but again the Association feels it is being fobbed off.

The last paragraph of the correspondence states ‘I appreciate this is frustrating for you and others who made submissions and we want to get this resolved as soon as possible.  It needs to be a robust case, however, if the 2014 decision is to be changed.’  This was signed off by the Director, Heritage, Commemorations and Protocol Group.

The sub-committee of the Association has again responded declaring its disappointment at the lack of transparency.  The offer was again made to assist in the areas of inconclusiveness but it is believed we will not be asked to assist. It is fair to say that the subcommittee is coming to the end of its tether with regard to the handling and the extensive delays being experienced.  It has only been five repeat five years of effort to date.

The subcommittee is now looking at other alternatives and dependent on the level of transparency and the fairness of the report will consider all options open to them to ensure that NZDF play the game.

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6 Responses to FESR/ANZUK Recognition of Service – Update

  1. Neal Catley says:

    Further to the Association article, I understand the office of MOD replies [including those Ministers preceding the incumbent], to individual submitters about the FESR/ANZUK medallic recognition question appears to be with no more personal regard than might be given to an unserviceable lamppost.

    It is hard to fathom why on earth the FESR/ANZUK medallic conundrum has been floating around in slack water for nearly five years! Most ex military personnel are continuously gob smacked at the lack of progress on the issue. It’s not too difficult to wonder if the government is just sitting on the fence, unwilling to push matters to a conclusion. Quite clearly, the office of MOD, [and those preceding the incumbent] has got the problem either at the bottom of the in-tray or, it might be at the bottom of the pending-tray, indeed in no tray at all. Most understand the rules and regulations or subordinates vis-a-vis superiors and that “fools rush in where wise men never go” is an excellent signpost for life in general, BUT, who will make the first move to satisfy a positive resolution? Tiresome as it is, all that is being sought is former NZ military Forces deployed to the FESR/ANZUK theatre are honoured in identical fashion as our Australian Defence Force counterparts with the honesty, openness, transparency and good grace they richly deserve!

    Unfortunately, it seems the FESR/ANZUK medallic recognition never ending administrative paper chess game does rather point to an ‘efficacious remedy’ never being achieved by the MOD/NZDF way of fighting their corner, which is to duck and dive every punch without contributing to a positive resolution. Staying conventional and inside the rules being logical and uniform works up to a point, but there comes a time when lateral thinking replaces logic. Put another way, when faced with having to pee into the wind one should logically and commonsense wise turn the ship 180 degrees. In parallel, with the ship altering course turning away from polite letter writing with the lateral alternative to use social media as a way of awakening department giants into action is a possible new course to steer. More comment follows soon.

  2. John Bullock says:

    Transparency was definite part of the Labour Party last election campaign. Doesn’t that apply to NZDF.? Myself personally, during the 1965-1975 period, I did two ship tours of duty on the Far East Station (Waikato and Otago) and a two year ANZUK tour of duty at Kranji W/T, and the ANZUK Comcen in Singapore. I sincerely hope “the powers that be” do have sort of recognition for these postings of mine and others with similar postings during that time frame?

  3. Lawrence Shaw says:

    Despite the fact that we not only won the war in Malaya [1948-60] but our successful campaign paved the way for the creation of The Federated States of Malaya, Malaysia and Singapore. The war was unique in that on coming to a favourable outcome no country’s borders needed to be re-drawn on surrendered to the then enemy. What more must we do to be recognised by our respective governments, Australia & New Zealand for waging such a decisive victory? Laurie ‘Irish’ Shaw. NSW/ACT State Sec/Treas Far East Strategic Reserve Association Inc.

  4. Re the FESR / ANZUK debacle Our current Minister has be an absolute train wreck as far as representing NZDF STAFF particularly ex-members/ veterans Every time I see him on TV he is wearing a chest full of medals Because of my poor eyesight damaged beyond repair by pussers I am not able to identify what medals he has but no doubt someone can fill that blank for me Next year is election year and you watch the Minister grandstand if there is a positive result to our submissions Reality is it will be in spite of him not because of him Minister hang your head in shame you have let a lot of good service people down so very badly

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