Veterans’ Support Amendment Bill No 2 passes third reading

 Veterans’ Support Amendment Bill No 2 passes third reading

The Veterans’ Support Amendment Bill (No 2) passed its third reading today and will become law, announced Minister for Veterans Ron Mark.

This amends the Veterans’ Support Act 2014 in response to recommendations from the 2018 review of the operation of the Act by Professor Ron Paterson.

“Veterans have been waiting a long time to see some of the Paterson recommendations put into law,” said Ron Mark.

“This bill is the first step in doing so.”

The new provisions that are now part of the Act will increase fairness and make it easier to access support and services. There is a greater focus on the needs of veterans’ families, a greater recognition of psychological illness, and more flexibility for decision-making.

Veterans’ Affairs can continue to provide treatment and rehabilitation services to veterans who are imprisoned; and if a family member is receiving entitlements when a veteran is imprisoned, they would not lose these. The new provisions also make it easier for family members to access support when a veteran dies.

“This bill was intended to fix issues that are relatively easy to fix ¬ and that will make life easier for veterans and their families,” said Ron Mark.

“They will now be better supported when they need support.

“Some of the Paterson recommendations were more complex and require more policy development work and consultation.

“I anticipate that another more substantial amendment to the Veterans’ Support Act will be needed during the next term of Parliament to address these bigger issues,” said Ron Mark.

Media Contact: Toni Hartley 021 302 432

Toni.hartley@parliament.govt.nz

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