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Viet Nam veterans and families to receive apology

Rt Hon Helen Clark
Prime Minister
Hon Rick Barker
Minister of Veterans’ Affairs

25 May 2008


Media Statement
Viet Nam veterans and families to receive Crown apology

Prime Minister Helen Clark and Veterans' Affairs Minister Rick Barker said today that the Crown apology to Viet Nam veterans and their families will be made in Parliament next week.

“The apology was agreed to in the Memorandum of Understanding between the government, the Ex-Vietnam Services Association and the Royal New Zealand Returned and Services Association. It will be made in the House on Wednesday 28 May”, Helen Clark said.

"The apology will recognise that Viet Nam veterans were not treated fairly on their return to New Zealand after the war", Helen Clark said.

"Those who served in Viet Nam, like other New Zealand soldiers before and after them, undertook their duties bravely, loyally and professionally. The apology, and the Memorandum of Understanding more generally, are about recognising the service and sacrifices of Viet Nam veterans and their families".

A function for representatives of the veterans' community will be hosted in Parliament later on Wednesday afternoon, by Veterans' Affairs Minister Rick Barker.

“The apology will occur ahead of ‘Tribute08’ – a special weekend of commemorative events which honour Viet Nam veterans and their families, and celebrates their contributions to New Zealand”, Helen Clark said.

Tribute08, being held over Queen's Birthday Weekend, begins on Friday afternoon. There will be a Civic Welcome in Civic Square, Wellington at 4.00pm. Rick Barker said the weekend has been organised largely by the veterans themselves with assistance from New Zealand Defence Force personnel.

"I am pleased that Viet Nam veterans and their families will be able to prepare for Tribute08 knowing that the past will be acknowledged", Rick Barker said.

Representatives of the Viet Nam veterans' community have been invited to be in the public gallery on the day of the apology.


Broadcast details below:
The apology will be broadcast on Freeview 22, Sky 94 and Telstra Clear 94.
A live webcast will be available on www.parliament.nz

You can also listen to the House on the following frequencies:
Radio New Zealand regional stations
- Auckland AM 882 Khz
- Waikato AM 1494 Khz
- Bay of Plenty AM 657 Khz
- Napier AM 909 Khz
- Wellington AM 657 Khz
- Christchurch AM 963 Khz
- Dunedin AM 900 Khz
- Southland AM 1314 Khz


ENDS


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