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.