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Labour Shows No Respect For Those Who Serve

Media Release
17 October 2003

Labour Government Shows No Respect For Those Who Serve

New Zealand First Defence spokesperson Ron Mark today expressed his disbelief at the Government’s treatment of the Nepata brothers seriously injured in freak accidents while serving in the New Zealand Army.

Despite Parliament’s foreign affairs select committee recommending that the brothers should be entitled to further compensation the Government has rejected any calls for further payment.

“It’s a disgrace. This heartless, two-faced Government has stated quite clearly through its inaction where its priorities lie, said Mr Mark.

“When in opposition Labour supported their cause and severely criticised the Government of the day for not agreeing to compensation. Now that they are in a position to act as the Government, they have decided to change their position leaving the brothers out in the cold.

“The message that this Government is sending to those who are currently in the armed forces is that we want your service but if you suffer a debilitating injury you’re on your own. It is little wonder why the New Zealand Defence Force is struggling to obtain and retain recruits.

“I challenge the Minister of Defence Mark Burton to represent his people. He must step in, appologise, and ensure these men are paid the compensation they deserve if he wishes to maintain a shred of credibility among Defence Force personnel and their families,” said Mr Mark.

ENDS

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