By Neal Catley
First, the Association commentary [11/12/2019] on ‘What is a Veteran” is endorsed.
My earlier ‘RECTUM REACH’ comment in the margins that MOVA will more than likely decide to release the outcome of his VAB interim report about mid-April 2020 was WRONG. What a relief! Although Christmas is just under two weeks away it was, to most ex-service personnel, a welcome surprise to read that MOVA, after holding it CLOSE TO HIS CHEST for SIX months, [for God only knows what reason], decided to release his VAB interim report [of 28 June 2019] into the public arena on Tuesday 10 December. It’s a fascinating read. Notwithstanding that, the VAB deserve high praise for their collective effort[s].
It is noted, at MOVA’s direction, like a perpetual carbuncle on an elephant’s backside, that there’s still much work to be done. Hurrah! Hurrah! What a ‘THUNDERCLAP COMMUNIQUE!’ In simple terms, following another farcical lengthy intermission, the VAB is now to forward their preliminary final report to the Office of MOVA by 31 JULY 2020. This. Is. Not. Normal.
Surely, no right-thinking New Zealander would disagree to establishing a New Zealand Defence Force Covenant between service people and the Government. Let’s be upfront about this! It’s a NO BRAINER! It seems nonsensical to the core that we now have to have a conversation [Quasi Referendum] with New Zealanders about the possibility of establishing such a Covenant. NZ spends Billions of Dollars on Defence personnel, plant and machinery. Has there ever been a time that MOD/NZDF has had to have a conversation [Quasi Referendum] with New Zealanders prior to procurement? Surely, one could be forgiven for thinking this unprecedented waffle is nothing more than a Mega Sea Anchor. And, we all know the reason[s] for that type of action!
Who knows how long it will be before the VAB’s final report is released into the public domain? Perhaps, to lighten things up, in the spirit of OPENNESS and TRANSPARENCY, it might be worthwhile running a ‘Michael Mouse’ 2020 CHRISTMAS/NEW YEAR HAMPER raffle on the Month/Date/Day/Time when the Coalition Government, [Codename: MOVA] are likely to approve the recommendations of both the Paterson and VAB report in order to bring NZ veterans’ benefits and entitlements into the 21st Century and in line with the Commonwealth Five Eyes community.
By the way, there’s NO need to Buckle Up your Seat Belt or get excited about such things just yet. As to determine: ‘What is a Veteran and how is New Zealand going to recognise that Veteran,’ is likely to be floating around in the ETHER for a long time yet.
In the meantime, have an enjoyable Christmas with your family and friends and may the New Year bring ex NZ service personnel and veterans the long-awaited benefits and entitlements you all so richly deserve.
“So,” asks Santa. “Have you been a good boy this year?”
“No,” replies the APOLITICAL Minister “I’ve been an idiot and a plonker.”
“Still,” said Santa. “At least you’re not likely to have a salary cut.”
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