FIVE CLASSES OF ‘VETERAN’

A recent review of the circumstances surrounding many ex-servicemen and women and their status as a veteran has thrown up the following circumstances.

Case 1 – Serviceman or woman – joined prior to 1 April 1974 has no Qualifying Operational Service in accordance with the Veterans Support Act 2014. Recognised as having Qualifying Routine Service.

Veteran status recognised by a Certificate of Appreciation signed by the Prime Minister and the Minister of Veterans Affairs and entitled to wear the Veterans Badge issued with the certificate. Has Routine Qualifying Service and entitled to no more assistance than any
other superannuitant who has reached the age of 65 years and is in receipt of a Super gold
Card. Not entitled to be buried in a service section of a local cemetery.

Case 2 – Serviceman or woman – joined prior to 1 April 1974 in receipt of the New Zealand Operational Service Medal but has no Qualifying Operational Service in accordance with the Veterans Support Act 2014. Recognised as having Qualifying Routine Service.

Status recognised by a Certificate of Appreciation signed by the Prime Minister and the
Minister of Veterans Affairs and entitled to wear the Veterans Badge issued with the
certificate. Has Routine Qualifying Service and entitled to no more assistance than any other superannuitant who has reached the age of 65 years and is in receipt of a Super gold Card. Not entitled to be buried in a service section of a local cemetery.

Case 3 – Serviceman or woman – joined prior to 1 April 1974 has Qualifying Operational
Service and Qualifying Routine Service in accordance with the Veterans Support Act 2014

Status recognised by a Certificate of Appreciation signed by the Prime Minister and the
Minister of Veterans Affairs and entitled to wear the Veterans Badge issued with the
certificate. Entitled to apply for the Veterans Gold Card although not drawing a veterans
pension, entitled to apply for assistance under the Veterans Support Act 2014, Entitled to be buried in a Service Section of a local cemetery

Case 4 – Serviceman or woman – joined after 1 April 1974 has Qualifying Operational Service in accordance with the Veterans Support Act 2014

Status recognised by a Certificate of Appreciation signed by the Prime Minister and the
Minister of Veterans Affairs and entitled to wear the Veterans Badge issued with the
certificate. Entitled to apply for the Veterans Gold Card and may or may not be drawing a
veterans pension, entitled to apply for assistance under the Veterans Support Act 2014,
Entitled to be buried in a service Section of a local cemetery. Not recognised as having
Routine Qualifying Service.

Case 5 – Serviceman or woman – joined after 1 April 1974 has no Qualifying Operational
Service in accordance with the Veterans Support Act 2014.

Status is not recognised and not entitled to any Veterans Support under the Act. Entitled
only to apply for the Super Gold Card on attaining the age of 65 years. No length of service is recognised and not entitled to be buried in a service section of a local cemetery. Not
recognised has having Routine Qualifying Service.

The Certificate of Appreciation signed by the Prime Minister and the Minister of Veterans
Affairs and Veterans badge is identical in all respects and issued in all Cases 1 to 4 above.
To qualify for the Veterans Gold Card you have to have Qualifying Operational Service
however, it also may or may not be linked to being in receipt of a Veterans pension.

Confusing,  How have we got ourselves into this sort of problem?  Hopefully with the current review of What is a Veteran? and your input to the Veterans Advisory Board in the first half of 2020 this will all be sorted out.

Posted in General Updates | 5 Comments

Two Golf Burglars Caught on Camera

Here is an image of two ex Warrant Officer Communicators who have finally been caught on camera.  Looking, good guys, who is the oldest?   Bob Ohlson and Jack Campbell.

Posted in General Updates | 4 Comments

New pledges for the Armed Forces announced in Queen’s Speech

The Queen’s Speech prioritises both veterans and service personnel with a promise to further incorporate the Armed Forces Covenant in law.

The Government has reaffirmed its solid commitment to protecting and supporting the armed forces in the Queen’s Speech.

The Queen’s Speech, which outlines legislative priorities for the next Parliamentary session, prioritises both veterans and serving personnel with a promise to further incorporate the Armed Forces Covenant in law, and bring forward proposals to tackle vexatious claims. The Government will also maintain its commitment to spend at least 2 per cent of GDP on defence every year of this Parliament and increase the defence budget by at least 0.5 per cent above inflation year on year.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said:

The interests of the men and women of our armed forces are at the heart of this government. That is why we are continuing to invest above inflation every year to meet our NATO commitments.

Beyond this unwavering commitment, I’m pleased we will be bringing forward vital legislation that will help address the dogged pursuit of personnel and veterans from repeated investigations and prosecutions.

We’ll also further incorporate the Armed Forces Covenant into law. This will be essential to ensure we minimise any disadvantage faced by the military community because of the sacrifices they make for this country.

The Government is strongly opposed to our service personnel and veterans being subject to the threat of repeated investigations and potential prosecution arising from historical military operations many years after the events in question. Following a consultation earlier in the year on proposed legal protections, work is happening at a pace to respond.

The Armed Forces Covenant has mitigated disadvantage arising from Service for our armed forces and their families since its introduction. It is this government’s aim to build upon this great work, as such it will progress proposals to further incorporate the Covenant into law to mitigate any disadvantage faced by the armed forces community due to the unique nature of military service.

Other key commitments include:

  • The introduction of a Veteran’s railcard
  • A guaranteed job interview for veterans for any public sector role they apply for where they possess the minimum job requirements
  • Reducing the Employer’s National Insurance contribution for those employing veterans
  • Protecting armed forces personnel from tax rises in Scotland, where income tax is devolved to Holyrood.

You will remember there is mention of a Covenant in the VAB report on What is a Veteran?.  It will be worth keeping tabs on this as time progresses.

Posted in General Updates | Leave a comment

HMNZS ROTOITI 1960 Comms Crew

Here is an image of the Communicators crew who served in HMNZS ROTOITI in Hongkong 1960.  Thanks, Billy B for the image.

Back Row L-R  Jake Huka, Herbie Anscombe, Don McMurray, Stu Boys, Miles Dalrymple, Laurie Leef, Dave Synott, Chas Conroy and Brian Baker

Front Row L-R Roy Sefton, Bill Bartlett, RS George Rolton, Lieutenant Beauchamp, CCY Les Thorpe, Carl Edwards, Ian Buckingham.  Absent Frank Elliott (on watch in BWO)

Posted in General Updates | 7 Comments

How others see their Veterans

The following are brief extracts from our “Five Eyes” coalition partner governments, i.e. Australia, Canada, United Kingdom and the United States prescribing their definition of “What is a Veteran”!

Australia
The Australian document is quite lengthy, so click on this URL

Canada
Any former member of the Canadian Armed Forces who successfully underwent basic training and is honourably discharged. … VAC considers any former member of the Canadian Armed Forces who releases with an honourable discharge and who successfully underwent basic training to be a Veteran.  Click HERE to read more.

United Kingdom
In the UK a military veteran is defined as anyone who has drawn one day’s pay from the Armed Forces. … A veteran is therefore not defined by the length, nature of their service, or when they left.  Click HERE to read more.

United States
What is a Veteran? Title 38 of the Code of Federal Regulations defines a veteran as “a person who served in the active military, naval, or air service and who was discharged or released under conditions other than dishonourable.” This definition explains that any individual that completed a service for any branch of armed forces classifies as a veteran as long as they were not dishonourably discharged. However, with regard to applicable benefits, other considerations are important and will be covered in later sections.  Click HERE to read more.

Thanks John B for the definitions.

Posted in General Updates | Leave a comment

Meri Kirihimete

On behalf of the RNZNCA Committee, I would like to extend the compliments of the
season to not only association members, but also other members of the Navy
Communications Branch, both ex-serving and currently serving.

Wishing you peace, joy and happiness for Christmas. Hoping you and your whānau
have an enjoyable festive season, with happy times spent with family and friends.
For those separated from their families or having to work, keep them close in your
thoughts.

Hoping you also have a good New Year. May 2020 be a prosperous year for you
and yours, but more importantly, bring you good health.  If you are travelling over the break, take care and stay safe.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Gary Houghton
President

Posted in General Updates | 2 Comments

AN OPINION

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.

APOLITICAL ADDENDUM
“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.”

IF YOU HAVE AN OPINION THEN VOICE IT! DO NOT BE LIKE THE TYPICAL ‘JACK’ AND LEAVE IT TO A FEW OTHERS.  COMMENTS MAY BE LEFT ON THE BLOG.

Posted in General Updates | Leave a comment