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More photo ops - but surviving vets missing out

Katherine Rich
National Party MP

09 May 2005

More photo ops - but surviving vets still missing out

Dunedin-based National Party MP Katherine Rich is accusing the Veterans' Affairs Minister of hypocrisy, over his decision to attend yet another photo opportunity honouring WW2 veterans while continuing to ignore the plight of other WW2 veterans battling to save Dunedin's Montecillo War Veterans Home and Hospital.

She is referring to Mr Hawkins' attendance at the unveiling of a plaque in Wellington today.

"It is important for a Minister of Veterans Affairs to honour all World War Two vets - the dead and the living. That's why George Hawkins should also front up to those veterans who are threatened with being turfed out of Montecillo.

"Plaques are of small consolation for the Montecillo vets facing eviction because of the Labour's stubbornness.

"George Hawkins is happy to appear at photo ops, but AWOL when it comes to honouring those living who actually fought. How about showing some consistency Minister?"

National has promised to advance the home $2 million interest free to rebuild Montecillo, to be returned to the taxpayer when the last World War Two veteran has no further use for it.

"All Labour will offer, with its record surplus, is a small loan paid at a commercial rate of interest," says Mrs Rich.

"Former Labour Prime Minister Peter Fraser would be turning in his grave. He made a commitment on behalf of New Zealanders to all our World War Two veterans. The National Party of today stands by that commitment."

Ends

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