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Medals For Timor-Leste & Solomon Islands Service

Medals to recognise service in Timor-Leste and the Solomon Islands

The Governor-General has approved two new medals to recognise New Zealanders' service in Timor-Leste and the Solomon Islands, Prime Minister Helen Clark and Defence Minister Phil Goff announced today.

Helen Clark said the New Zealand General Service Medal (NZGSM) (Timor-Leste) is to be awarded to New Zealand Defence Force and New Zealand Police personnel who have served in Timor-Leste since 28 April 2006, providing stability and security following the outbreak of violence in April and May of that year.

"The NZGSM (Timor-Leste) will be awarded to more than 600 New Zealand Defence Force and to 87 New Zealand Police personnel. At the present time, over 170 New Zealand Defence Force personnel and 23 New Zealand Police personnel are deployed to Timor-Leste", Helen Clark said.

Phil Goff said New Zealanders were first deployed to East Timor in 1999. This service was recognised with the award of The East Timor Medal. The Governor-General has agreed that the end date for eligibility for that medal will be 27 April 2006.

"New Zealanders currently serving in Timor-Leste are on a different mission and it is appropriate that this service is recognised with a different medal", Phil Goff said.

Helen Clark and Phil Goff also announced that the Governor-General has approved a revised version of the Regulations for the NZGSM (Solomon Islands).

Helen Clark said the amended Regulations permit this medal to be awarded to approximately 250 additional Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) personnel. These personnel served on HMNZ Ships Te Kaha and Te Mana off Honiara in 2000 and 2001, during the peace talks between the warring factions, and in support of the subsequent International Peace Monitoring Team.

Phil Goff said the extension of entitlement is recognition that a significant level of threat to all deployed personnel existed throughout the Solomon Islands operational area in 2000 and 2001, rather than the threat being restricted to only land-based service.

Headquarters New Zealand Defence Force will arrange for the presentation of the NZGSM (Timor-Leste) and NZGSM (Solomon Islands) to eligible currently-serving military and police personnel. Eligible persons who have left the New Zealand Defence Force or the New Zealand Police should apply in writing to the Staff Officer Medals, The Medals Office, Headquarters New Zealand Defence Force, Private Bag 905, Upper Hutt.

ENDS

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