Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Monarchist League Considers VC Review

Monarchist League Considers VC Review


It has been reported that Defence Minister Phil Goff has this week asked Buckingham Palace to reconsider the decision to not review the award of a VC to Lance-Sergeant Haane Manahi. This request is worthy of comment. Mr Goff can be commended for recognising that The Queen is the source of all royal honours and is entitled to be consulted on all matters concerning them. However, it may be questioned whether it was altogether appropriate for Mr Goff to approach the Palace on behalf of the advocates for the late Sergeant Manahi. Mr Goff could be in danger of being seen as a lobbyist for Sergeant Manahi's supporters. As Minister of Defence he has a wider duty, and specific responsibility for gallantry medals. This duty ought to include, one would have thought, taking the broader view of any question and not becoming involved too closely in individual cases. His duty is to uphold policy, not promote departures from it.

It is unfortunately that Mr Goff has been reported as asserting that Manahi's gallantry was "unrecognised". The sergeant, as did many others who were originally nominated for the Victoria Cross, received the Distinguished Conduct Medal. This is almost as highly regarded as the VC.

Ultimately it is both unwise and unhelpful to attempt to second-guess decisions of more than sixty years ago. It is impossible to say with any certainty now whether or not Sergeant Manahi ought to have received the VC rather than the DCM. But he didn't, and the matter should be left to rest. Many thousands of acts of heroism went unrecognised. Many hundreds of soldiers received lesser awards than they were originally nominated for, or than they possibly deserved. These people did not campaign for higher awards - nor, significantly, did Sergeant Manahi.

There is no reason why this one case should be treated as special, or why the long-standing principle of not reviewing such decisions should be abandoned. Nor is it appropriate to portray the Queen, as some media have done, as somehow denying Manahi something which was his by right. Gallantry medals are honours and come from the Crown. There would be precious little honour in them if they were awarded as the result of lobbying. It would also be very unfortunate if the first award of the Victoria Cross for New Zealand were to be made in such controversial circumstances - assuming that this would be an award of a New Zealand medal, rather than of the VC under British regulations, for which Manahi was originally nominated.


Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On How Women Are Suffering The Most From The Covid Economic Recession

Both here and abroad, the Covid-19 economic recession has been disastrous for women workers and their families. In November, young women below 30 in particular were feeling the consequences:

Of concern is the sustained deterioration in youth employment, particularly for females, with a -4.3% pa drop in filled jobs for females aged below 30, and a 3.9%pa drop for males aged below 30....More>>

 

A New Year: No politicians at Rātana in 2021

Annual celebrations at Rātana pā will be different this year, amid a decision to hold an internal hui for church adherents only… More>>

ALSO:

Covid: Border Exception for 1000 International Students

The Government has approved an exception class for 1000 international tertiary students, degree level and above, who began their study in New Zealand but were caught offshore when border restrictions began....More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels