To: Governor General, Minister for Veterans, Prime Minister, the New Zealand People
Veterans Act 2014 Reform Vote
Hold a referendum on the Warrant of Fitness Review of the Veterans Act 2014 to ask New Zealand, how they, wish to acknowledge the service of their military.
Why is this important?
The New Zealand taxpayer has spent $489,208.00 on the mandated review of the Veterans Act 2014 but are not being informed of the well-spent monies results. I believe they should be informed, and then asked what they wish to do with those results.
Professor Paterson, former NZ Parliamentary Ombudsman, learned findings should be looked at and considered better than a quick Amendment, he’s even told us how to fix the Act.
Having looked over the shoulder of the smart kid we should be getting an A but we are failing, government giving public the appearance of solidity to pure wind.
A seemingly ridiculous extreme to settle an arguably minor grievance. Except, there are 64.
In the last 50 years we have:
• Put a man on the moon
• Cloned a sheep
• and, Decoded the Human genome
Only once have we looked at the way we care for our Veterans.
The Veterans Act 2014, has a provision for review of effectiveness after 2 years. Professor Paterson and his team were appointed in June 2017, completing their task by March 2018 giving 64 recommendations for urgent change. This achievement backed by the Right Honourable Ron Mark statement at the time “I have asked officials to begin work on these immediately”, leading the New Zealand Veteran Community towards false hope.
With no provision for detailed command and control, and failed promises, 17 months later there is still no action on the 64, urgent, recommendations.
(In May 2018) Ron Mark acknowledged the term Veteran, as a fundamental part of the Act, assuring a decision on its complex nature by the end of June. Which June is not clear, has he missed this year as well? How is that Royal Decree for Section 9 and the definition of a veteran?
Veterans Affairs definition of the word Veteran is purposefully complex allowing them to impose stringent, sometimes unattainable conditions on our military, both serving and retired. Veterans that never deployed, yet dedicated an enormous part of their life to New Zealand, repeatedly do not meet the unfeasible heights required by Veterans Affairs to be recognised as, a Veteran.
I think it is only right to remind the people, of the often-dangerous circumstances.
Circumstances in which we expect our security forces, while under effective enemy fire, to;
Evaluate a situation.
Judge the risks to their own lives and those of others, and act
appropriately within the law.
Often in a matter of seconds, or less.
Do not underestimate the difficulties they face!
Should not a sense of honour and dignity then be afforded to the Veteran as defined by the Dictionary? Discrimination and inequality have eroded the foundations of the much-needed care and support our services have earned.
There is no need for a tier system, for any veteran seeking help. Ever.
Where you served and for how long should not be a criteria, signing the Oath of Allegiance is enough.
The government agree that when the Veterans time is done they will receive indisputable support and entitlements accepting that Veterans Right to live independently, in their own home, where neither travel nor administration shall prejudice, sadly not in practice.
We must favour verifiable evidence over private feeling, otherwise we leave ourselves susceptible to those that would obscure the truth. Each Veteran should be treated with respect and wrap-a-round assistance based upon their individual needs after meeting the only criteria they need; they wore the uniform!
Any dispute with Veterans Affairs, is decided by Veterans Affairs, if Veterans Affairs agree they have done something wrong in the first place. The veteran is not allowed to attend. Surely a judgement made by Veterans Affairs, about Veterans Affairs, in a closed meeting is either illegal, unethical or both?
The criteria to meet Veterans Affairs definition of the word Veteran is so ridiculous that decades of service, wars and numerous tours is not enough, I dread to think of the pressure placed upon the younger Veteran, and those still to come knowing what little safety net they actually have should their service to New Zealand injure them in any way.
The Veteran community have shown courage and conviction and have said Enough. Enough indecisiveness and lethargy towards the very definition of, their word.
The Homework has been done for us. Should we not now ask New Zealand how they wish to acknowledge the service of their military?
The Minister for Veterans, when asked this same question chose to take a political view rather than that befitting an Officer of Her Majesties Armed Forces. Conversely, as a veteran of 2 wars and numerous deployments I have earned the Right to ask New Zealand how they wish to acknowledge their military, using the 64, urgent, recommendations made by Professor Paterson in the mandated Review known as the Warrant of Fitness.
Sid Gould – Ngati Tumatauenga