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.

Read the Review’s terms of reference [pdf | 2.76 MB | 5 pages]

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 Paterson wants to hear what you think – what works well in the Act, and what could be improved or requires change. You will be able to contribute either by sending a written submission to the Review, or by attending consultation forums which are going to be held in various locations around the country.

Details of the submissions process will be advertised on this website shortly, including details of when and where the forums will be held.

You can email the Review at

This page was last reviewed on 11 June 2017, and is current.