This week 11 further declarations of operational service have been made, announced Minister for Veterans Ron Mark.
“This means that those who took part in these deployments will now qualify for support and services from Veterans’ Affairs,” said Ron Mark.
“These changes will be welcomed by our veterans and I’m very pleased to have made these decisions, which will affect around 1300 service members.”
While some of the declarations are new or involve extending cover already in place, for others the change will be simplifying coverage and confirming an end date. The new and extended coverage will affect primarily those who served at certain times in Cambodia, Somalia, the Sinai Peninsula, and aboard HMNZS Canterbury or HMNZS Waikato in the Indian Ocean.
“Our people in the New Zealand Defence Force serve their country in a variety of ways overseas, often in difficult and dangerous conditions. It’s great to be able to offer more recognition and support,” said Ron Mark.
When the Veterans’ Support Act was passed in 2014, it introduced a number of new factors that could be considered when assessing if someone has been at risk of significant harm on a deployment.
Veterans’ Affairs is currently conducting a review of post-1974 deployments to assess if any other operational services that had not made the cut under previous legislation would now qualify.
In August last year, the first stage of the review was completed, affecting around 1600 current and former service personnel. Today’s declarations mark the conclusion of the second stage of the review.
“This work represents an ongoing commitment to provide support to those who were placed at significant risk of harm while in the service of New Zealand,” said Ron Mark.
Media Contact: Toni Hartley 021 302 432