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New medal for Asian Tsunami relief efforts

Rt Hon Helen Clark
Prime Minister


30 March 2006 Media Statement

New medal for Asian Tsunami relief efforts presented

Prime Minister Helen Clark today presented the New Zealand Special Service Medal (NZSSM Asian Tsunami) to 29 New Zealanders who served in areas affected by the Boxing Day tsunami.

The medals were presented at a ceremony in Parliament's Grand Hall.

"New Zealanders responded to the disaster rapidly, professionally, and with great compassion," Helen Clark said.

"The NZSSM (Asian Tsunami) recognises service including locating missing New Zealanders, identifying victims, and other humanitarian relief, rehabilitation, and reconstruction work."

Helen Clark praised the dedication of the medal recipients, who had worked in some of the most difficult and hazardous conditions imaginable.

"The risk of aftershocks, the dangers of disease and infection, the extensive – and in some instances complete – devastation of affected areas, and the trauma of treating the injured, of recovering bodies, and identifying victims presented the most harrowing physical and psychological challenges."

Today's medal recipients were involved in relief efforts in Aceh Province (Indonesia), Phuket (Thailand) and Sri Lanka. They include personnel from the New Zealand Police, the New Zealand Defence Force, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, civilians and representatives from aid agencies and New Zealand media.

The government announced the creation of the medal on the first anniversary of the disaster. The medal is awarded to New Zealanders who worked in areas devastated by the earthquake and tsunami between 26 December 2004 and 26 December 2005. More people are likely to receive the medal in coming months.

The ceremony, also attended by Defence Minister Phil Goff, Police Minister Annette King and Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters, concluded with a minute's silence for the victims of the tsunami.

ENDS

Attached is a full list of today's recipients of the NZSSM (Asian Tsunami).
NZSSM (Asian Tsunami) recipients

New Zealand Police (location of service: Phuket, Thailand)
Senior Sergeant Geoffrey Logan, Wellington (44 days in Phuket)
Superintendent Hamish McCardle (21 days in Phuket)
Constable Philip Simmonds, Christchurch Central (105 days in Phuket)
Constable Karl Wilson, Photographer, Auckland (98 days in Phuket)

New Zealand civilians who operated with the New Zealand Police Disaster Victim Identification teams in Phuket, Thailand
Mr Warren Bell, Dentist, Auckland (20 days in Phuket)
Mr Simon Stables, Pathologist, Auckland (44 days in Phuket)
Colonel Hugh Trengrove, Wellington (22 days in Phuket)

New Zealand Defence Force (location of service: Banda Aceh, Indonesia)
Captain Jacqueline Claridge (doctor)
Able Medic Joanna Fraser (medic)
Lance Corporal Luke Tamatea (security role)
Staff Sergeant Linda Manuel (support role)
Lieutenant Commander Mark Meehan (staff officer and liaison role)
Major Charmaine Pene (command role)
Lieutenant Colonel Evan Williams (command role)

New Zealand Red Cross
Douglas Clark (location of service: Galle, Sri Lanka)
Colleen Clarke (location of service: Aceh Province, Indonesia)
Marion Picken (location of service: Aceh Province, Indonesia)

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (location of service: Phuket, Thailand)
Brett Bartos
Sarah Craig
Graeme McGuire
Jeremy Palmer

Oxfam New Zealand
Les Collins (location of service: Aceh Province, Indonesia)
Dave Neru (location of service: Aceh Province, Indonesia)
Richard Weaver (location of service: Batticaloa, Sri Lanka)
Kate Medlicott (location of service: Batticaloa, Sri Lanka) Mr Weaver will accept on her behalf

World Vision New Zealand
Brett Campbell (location of service: Aceh Province, Indonesia)
Sriya Fernando (location of service: Ampara, Sri Lanka)

New Zealand media
Charlotte Glennie (location of service: Phuket and Banda Aceh)
Ingrid Leary (location of service: Banda Aceh)

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