Results.. Yeah Right!

Members will be well aware that over the past two years or so there’s been a number of activities that have occurred in the area of Veterans. To briefly recap, a Veterans Advisory Board [VAB], without RNZN representation, was established by the Minister of Veteran Affairs [MOVA] and tasked with looking at “What is a Veteran? and how would New Zealand recognised these veterans?” (Recommendation 63 of the Ron Patterson Report). You will recall the VAB forwarded their paper/report, in accordance with their tasking, to MOVA on or before 30 June 2019. After many written questions in Parliament raised by Dan Bidois MP for Birkenhead and other MPs regarding the VAB report outcome/results. MOVA, shortly thereafter, advised he was preparing a paper which he would take to his Cabinet colleagues in December 2019. Well here we are now in December, five months after he received the VAB report and where is MOVA’s paper? One can only wonder if it’s still resting comfortably, without a care in the world, in MOVA’s too hard tray! Parliament closes on Thursday 19 December 2019 and does not reopen until Tuesday 11 February 2020. No further comment needed! Well, what say all you ex-servicemen and women about this dilemma? I cannot address you as veterans as Arghhh, what is a Veteran? Put simply, nobody knows very much as MOVA, because of his inaction, seemingly treats us with contempt! Maybe MOVA is waiting for election year to handout a carrot to ex-servicemen and women. Good luck with that!

You will also recall that a shipmate of ours Chief Petty Officer Pokiha (Tom) Hiini tragically crossed the bar on 15 September 2018 and could not be buried in the Service section of the Waiheke Cemetery because although he had served in the RNZN for 21 years (1966 – 1987), Tom had no qualifying operational service under the current rules. This stopped Tom from being interred in the Service section of the cemetery. Many letters were written by the association and Tom’s shipmates to their local Members of Parliament, the Minister of Veteran Affairs, and the Minister of Health (who administer the Act). Also, the Opposition Spokesperson for Veterans questioned this ruling and again what have we heard? Surprise! Surprise! MOH stated that the Burial and Cremations Act will be reviewed in due course. WOW! Now that’s ‘speed of light’ progress for you.

A lot of ex-Servicemen and women expected positive results, especially, when an ex-soldier was elected as a Member of Parliament and appointed as the Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister of Defence. Sadly, to be blunt, the opposite has been our experience and now all the association can hope for is that 2020 passes quickly and someone else is appointed to those portfolios who is widely respected, scrupulously fair, shows sound judgement and actually abides by the rules of good governance who will promptly and sensibly address all of our legitimate concerns.

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5 Responses to Results.. Yeah Right!

  1. Thane Zander says:

    Bloody sobering!!


    T.W. Zander 162 College Street Awapuni Palmerston North 4412

    MOB 021 0865 7767

    Sent from Mail for Windows 10


  2. Neal Catley says:

    Now here’s the thing! NONE of MOVA’S UTTERINGS about the VAB report thus far have been voluntary! That’s right. Not even an unsolicited bare bones positive VAB update to his charges! History will reflect that it took the socially concerned services of MPs Dr Shane Reti, Dan Bidois, Matt King and a few others on behalf of ex NZ military personnel to formally ask MOVA about the reason[s] for his VAB inertia. For instance, all that’s presently being proffered, [and seemingly with reluctance to MP questions], is MOVA’s deft ability to take a TRICK out of one of HOUDINI’s masterful performances. It being the stock standard REPETITIVE reply along the lines: “In the coming weeks I will be preparing a paper to take to my cabinet colleagues for their consideration and, as such, it is considered not in the public interest to divulge such information at this time..etc etc..” This reminds me of the TUI advertisement!

    The Association BLOG correctly reflects the VAB report was completed and forwarded to MOVA before the end of June 2019. It is now DECEMBER and not even a miniscule sniff of an outcome. Never mind good people, government returns to work on Tuesday 11 February 2020 – so, perhaps by mid April 2020 there’s a possibility the Office of MOVA, under the GOVERNMENT ‘FLAG WAVING’ OPENNESS AND TRANSPARENCY MANTRA, will be able to release to the public domain all ‘repeat’ all of the VAB recommendations that Cabinet has approved together with the reason[s] why others were not. Time, as always, will tell.

    The ongoing BULLS WOOL AND BAKED BEANS Burial and Cremations ACT saga to NOT allow Chief Petty Officer Pohika [TOM] Hiini, because he did not qualify under the current operational service rules, to be buried in the Waiheke cemetery services section although noting that TOM had served New Zealand proud for over 21 years is considered beyond obnoxious and pathetic. It’s a NO BRAINER the B&C Act needs to be fixed PDQ WITHOUT the usual bureaucratic ‘sleight of hand’ and ‘roadblock’ delays. The following is a modified version of an oldish NZ TV advertisement but considered relevant to this appalling and insulting B&C Act anomaly. C’mon MOD/NZDF/MOH where the bloody hell are YAH!

  3. gunther says:

    well if its any consolation Neal.. im still waiting for answers to my two questions..(have asked twice in the past 5mths) re ministers military advisers and the Vab’s im guessing it’ll be next year before i/we hear anything.

  4. gunther says:

    You will laugh at what the Minister has just put out…re veterans…looks like next year, late, You will find out what is happening..oh and if you can’t laugh, have a good cry…these people need shooting

  5. JIM MCQUINLAN says:

    Well now that a definition of Veteran has been watered down to the point it means absolutely nothing The noisy minority have won again

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