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No delay in compensation

8 February 2001 Media Statement

No delay in compensation

Claims that there has been an unnecessary delay in seeking a United Nations compensation payment for the family of a New Zealand soldier who died while on active duty in East Timor are completely unfounded, the Minister of Defence Mark Burton said.

"An article in the Dominion newspaper with the headline that a "Dead Soldier's Compo Was Held Back" is incorrect.

"Such inaccurate reporting creates unnecessary anguish and concern for families of New Zealand soldiers.

"The article claims a delay in supplying information for an UN Inquiry into the death of Staff Sergeant Billy White is holding back and could put at risk a compensation claim.

"This is not true.

"There is no connection between reporting on the accident to the United Nations, and the payment of compensation for a loss of life.

"The Government was required to satisfy the United Nations that any money paid will be passed directly to Billy White's family. The necessary paperwork has been sent to UN headquarters in New York.

"The seeking of compensation has followed the necessary processes and is within United Nations guidelines."

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