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Medallic recognition for Malaya veterans

4 April 2001 Media Statement

Medallic recognition for Malaya veterans


The Minister of Defence and Veterans' Affairs Mark Burton today announced a widened entitlement to the New Zealand General Service Medal for veterans who served in Malaya between 1960 and 1964.

It is expected that several hundred veterans, mainly those who served with 1st Battalion, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment in Malaya in 1964, will now qualify for the New Zealand General Service Medal with the clasp “Malaya 1960-1964”.

"For over 30 years, service on the Thailand/Malaya border against insurgents between the end of the Malayan Emergency and 1964 went unrecognised," Mark Burton said.

"This had been partially rectified with the institution of the New Zealand General Service Medal, clasp “Malaya 1960-64” in 1997. However, eligibility for this medal was too restrictive, and the qualifying criteria has now been amended following extensive research and consultation.

"The change will ensure that all those who saw service against insurgents in the border area will receive medallic recognition for that service."

Mr Burton said the Government was committed to rectifying many other long-standing grievances for medallic recognition.

"A new policy, developed in close consultation with the Royal New Zealand Returned Services’ Association, was announced last year to assist with the resolution of such cases.

"The review of eligibility for the NZGSM “Malaya 1960-1964” is an example of this new approach, and we are continuing to work with the RSA to resolve a number of further cases," Mark Burton said.

Personnel who consider they may be eligible for the award should contact the Medals Section, Personnel Archives, Headquarters New Zealand Defence Force, Private Bag, Wellington.

ENDS

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