Review of the Operation of the Veterans' Support Act

Professor Ron Paterson has been appointed to lead a review of the operation of the Veterans’ Support Act 2014.
Professor Ron Paterson

Professor Ron Paterson has been appointed to lead a review of the operation of the Veterans’ Support Act 2014. 

Professor Paterson is a Professor of Law at Auckland University, and a former Health and Disability Commissioner and Ombudsman.  He has law degrees from Auckland and Oxford Universities, and has held Fulbright and Harkness Fellowships.. Professor Paterson was awarded an ONZM for services to health in 2011.

Why is there a review?

The Veterans’ Support Act 2014 was very different from the old Act that it replaced (the War Pensions Act 1954), so Parliament built in a provision requiring that the Chief of Defence Force review the new Act after two years to make sure that it’s operating as intended.

The review will give veterans and their families an opportunity to have their say about how well the new Act is working in practice.

An independent person has been chosen to do the review, so there is an external and impartial perspective on how the Act is working.

What is the review about?

The review will look at whether the Act is meeting its purpose of providing rehabilitation and support to veterans who have been injured or become ill as a result of being placed in harm’s way in the service of New Zealand.

Following an engagement and consultation period, the reviewer will report on how effectively the new Act is working and may make recommendations. Areas likely to be considered are: where more clarity is needed; whether the needs of veterans could be better met; and whether the new Act is flexible enough to manage the provision of fair and reasonable entitlements for eligible veterans and their families.

The review will be overseen by the Vice Chief of Defence Force, Air-Vice Marshal Kevin Short.

When is it happening?

The review is starting now.  In December, Professor Paterson will report his findings and recommendations to the Chief of Defence Force, who will submit the report to  the Minister of Veterans’ Affairs, for tabling in Parliament. The Government will consider the report and decide whether any changes need to be made.

How can you take part in the review?

Professor Ron Paterson, the independent reviewer, wants to hear what you think – what works well in the Veterans’ Support Act, and what could be improved or requires change.

A public consultation process for the Review is underway.  A discussion document has been released and submissions are due by 5pm 15 September 2017.  Consultation meetings for the Review are being held around New Zealand in August and September 2017.

Completing your submission

The submission form includes a wide range of questions on issues covered in the discussion document.  You only need to respond to the questions that you want to answer.

You can email your submission to or post it to:

Independent review of the Veterans’ Support Act 2014 
c/o New Zealand Defence Force
Private Bag 39997
Wellington Mail Centre
Wellington 5045

You can request a printed version of the discussion document and submission form by emailing your name and full postal address to or calling the Veterans’ Affairs enquiry line on 0800 483 8372.

If you do not wish to complete a submission form

Some people may not have the time to fill out the submission form, will only have a few issues they wish to comment on, or will prefer to write a letter or email.  Professor Paterson would still like to hear from you.

When you write, he would like to know your answers to these three key questions:

  1. What do you think works well in the Veterans’ Support Act 2014?
  2. What doesn’t work well, or could be improved or clarified?
  3. Would you like to see any specific changes? If so, what are they, and why is change needed?

You can email your response to or post it to:

Independent review of the Veterans’ Support Act 2014 
c/o New Zealand Defence Force
Private Bag 39997
Wellington Mail Centre
Wellington 5045

Please include your contact details. 

Submissions (with contact details removed) may be published on the New Zealand Defence Force website. If you don’t want your submission published, please say so in your submission.

Come to a consultation meeting

Consultation meetings for the Review are being held in the following locations over August and September 2017.  The meetings will be hosted by Professor Paterson.  Anyone with an interest in contributing to the Review can attend a meeting.  You do not need to RSVP.  You can both attend a meeting and put in a written submission.

Whangarei Friday 11 August 2017

Whangarei RSA,
7-9 Rust Avenue,


Auckland Wednesday 9 August 2017 10.30am
Manurewa RSA,
2-8 Maich Road,

Henderson RSA,
66-70 Railside Ave,

Tauranga Friday 18 August 2017

Tauranga RSA,
1237 Cameron Road,
Greerton, Tauranga


Gisborne Friday 25 August 2017 11.00am
Gisborne RSA,
Cnr Childers Road and Bright Street,

Napier Friday 1 September 2017

Napier RSA,
34 Vautier Street,


Wellington Monday 4 September 2017 9.30am
Lower Hutt RSA,
Petone Workingmen’s Club,
47 Udy Street,

Porirua RSA,
5-7 McKillop Street,


Palmerston North Tuesday 5 September 2017

Palmerston North Senior Citizens Hall,
323 Main Street,
Palmerston North


Christchurch Friday 8 September 2017 9.30am
Christchurch RSA,
74 Armagh Street,

Paparua Templeton RSA,
38 Kirk Road,


Dunedin Thursday 7 September 2017 10.00am
Mosgiel RSA,
6 Church Street,

Invercargill Wednesday 6 September 2017 1.00pm
North Lounge of the Corinthian Centre,
Invercargill Workingmen’s Club,
154 Esk Street,

A flyer has been prepared about the consultation meetings.  Please feel free to print the flyer and use it to publicise the meetings.

Background information about the Review


This page was last reviewed on 25 July 2017, and is current.