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Veterans’ Support Bill passes second reading

Hon Michael Woodhouse

Minister of Veterans’ Affairs

10 April 2014 Media Statement

Veterans’ Support Bill passes second reading

The Veterans’ Support Bill, which will improve the way New Zealand supports its veterans, has passed its second reading in Parliament today.

Veterans’ Affairs Minister Michael Woodhouse welcomed the Bill’s latest reading, saying it was now a step closer to replacing the outdated War Pensions Act 1954.

“As we reflect on the passing of 100 years since World War One, it is important and timely that we look at ways to care for our veterans and support their families in the future,’’ Mr Woodhouse says.

The Bill is the Government’s response to the Law Commission’s extensive review of the war pensions scheme in 2010. The 1954 Act was found by the Law Commission to be outdated, unwieldy and no longer suitable for the needs of veterans.

“The Government has adopted 132 of the 170 recommendations reported by the Law Commission as part of a $60 million package of changes of which this Bill forms the material part,’’ Mr Woodhouse says.

“I have received positive feedback from many veterans and veterans’ organisations on the changes, and have confidence that the Veterans’ Support Bill will better meet their needs.’’

The Bill continues and enhances the previous entitlements under the old Act, and retains the key principle of benevolence. Service eligibility criteria will remain the same and all deployments currently covered, will continue to be covered under the new legislation.

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