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Veterans deserve more from Govt

Simon Power
National Defence Spokesman

4 March 2004

Veterans deserve more from Govt

Our veterans deserve more than a token representation on the Prime Minister's official party to the 60th anniversary of the battle of Monte Cassino, says National's Defence spokesman, Simon Power.

There are an estimated 500 Monte Cassino veterans in New Zealand; of these only 20 have been allocated a place in the official party, which is travelling on an aircraft with a capacity of at least 200.

"Can we assume that the spare seats will be filled with officials, or will they go empty? Either way, this is rubbing salt in the wounds of the veterans.

"Why do we need so many members of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Ministry of Culture and Heritage, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, the cadet corps and the media?

"The government should be taking the bare minimum of officials to ensure that the maximum number of seats are available for our returned servicemen," says Mr Power.

"This will be the last chance for some of our bravest soldiers to return to honour their fallen comrades."


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