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Registered Viet Nam vets and families hits 5000

Hon Rick Barker
Minister of Veterans’ Affairs

21 May 2008

Registered Viet Nam vets and families hits 5000

With Tribute 08 fewer than two weeks away, Veterans' Affairs Minister, Rick Barker has welcomed the news that 5046 Viet Nam veterans and their family members have now registered with Veterans' Affairs New Zealand.

All Viet Nam veterans and their families are eligible to register and the process forms a key part of the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), signed in 2006 between the Government, the Ex-Vietnam Services Association and the Royal New Zealand Returned and Services’ Association.

"Registered veterans are now being sent information about how to access the free one off medical checks agreed to in the MoU. These checks will help identify the effect of service on individual veterans and will also help provide a fuller picture of the overall health and wellbeing of Viet Nam veterans as a group," Mr Barker said.

"There is also good progress being made to implement other aspects of the MoU. To date 66 ex-gratia payments, totalling $2,315,000, have been made.

"Ex-gratia payments of $40,000 are made to veterans suffering a prescribed condition and payments of $25,000 can also be made to the spouse or partner of veterans who have died as a result of a prescribed condition. There is also a list of prescribed conditions for the children of veterans and payments can be made on this basis too.

"The $7 million Viet Nam Veterans and Their Families Trust is now accepting applications and providing support to Viet Nam Veterans and their families whose circumstances are not covered by provisions elsewhere in the MOU package. In addition over 1,400 Viet Nam veterans receive a War Disablement Pension, which is available to cover any condition which may be attributable to, or aggravated by, their service.

"As we get ready for Tribute 08 this coming Queen's Birthday weekend it is a good time to remind Viet Nam veterans and their families to register with Veterans' Affairs New Zealand to ensure they are receiving any support they may be entitled to," Mr Barker said.

For more information on registering with Veterans' Affairs New Zealand please visit www.veteransaffairs.mil.nz or call 0800 483 8372 (0800 4 VETERAN)

ENDS

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