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Veterans' Affairs Policy


VETERANS' AFFAIRS

LABOUR’S VISION

Labour is committed to the well-being of the veterans who have served our country around the world.

LABOUR’S ACHIEVEMENTS

Labour has:

Introduced the case management service, coordinated by Veteran Affairs, which takes a holistic approach to the needs of veterans by liaising with other organisations and facilitating their access to a range of services. Additional services are also funded through the case management system to facilitate veterans remaining in their homes.

Recognised that being part of a veteran’s family can create its own pressures, and ensured that partners, ex partners and children of veterans are able to access counselling and advice through the case management service.

Changed the membership of the War Pensions Claims Panels to include Veterans' Affairs staff members who are qualified nurses. This has improved the consistency in decision-making over who is entitled to a War Disablement Pension.

Enhanced the military commemorations programme by having Veterans’ Affairs New Zealand assume responsibility for the co-ordination of government involvement in commemorations. This has ensured greater inclusion of veterans’ perspectives in commemorations, including for the 90th Anniversary of the landings at Gallipoli, and the 60th Anniversary of the end of World War II.

Enhanced the Veterans’ Pension by ensuring that veterans who have not reached the qualifying age for New Zealand Superannuation, and who are in receipt of a veteran’s pension, have the opportunity to undertake some employment without losing their full entitlement to the veteran’s pension.

Established a working group to oversee consultation with Vietnam veterans, to hear issues and suggestions for the resolution of them, and to ensure that veterans are receiving their health care, medal, and other entitlements.

Passed The Pardon for Soldiers of the Great War Act, which pardoned five soldiers executed unjustly during that war for mutiny or desertion.

Established the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior and refurbished the National War Memorial to honour all those who have laid down their lives for New Zealand. It is a lasting tribute to our people lost in war, and it is a place of solace for their families.

LABOUR’S PRIORITIES

Labour will:

Designate 2006 the 'Year of the Veteran’. This will be an opportunity to remember and honour the sacrifices that have been made by New Zealand veterans.

Offer a formal apology acknowledging that Vietnam veterans were exposed to a toxic environment in Vietnam. The forum and venue for that apology will be determined in consultation with the working group.

Continue to develop and expand the case management service. Additional funding has been provided in this year's Budget, with further increases put in place for the next four years.

Ensure that the War Disablement Pension cover and entitlement to burial in a Services Cemetery is updated by extending coverage to new operational deployments at the time the deployments are mounted.

Facilitate the transfer of veterans who are eligible from New Zealand Superannuation to the Veteran's Pension.

Ensure that a veterans’ perspective is maintained in military commemorations.

Work on the establishment of the New Zealand War Memorial Park, adjacent to the National War Memorial and the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior.

Establish the New Zealand Memorials to the Fallen at Hyde Park Corner in London and at the United Nations War Cemetery in Pusan, Korea.


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