12 July 2011
The Government has directed a Joint Working Group to review medallic recognition for military service in South-East Asia from 1950 to the current day. The public consultation phase of this review started today.
Many military personnel who served in South-East Asia from 1950 onwards did not receive operational service medals, especially for service in Malaysia and Singapore after 1965. This was due to decisions at the time that the level of military threat to the deployed personnel was too low to justify the award of a medal.
“A Government project is now underway to establish whether any grounds exist for overturning previous decisions on this matter. Former and current military personnel will now have the opportunity to comment on the appropriate medallic recognition for their service in South-East Asia,” said the Chief of Defence Force, Lieutenant General Rhys Jones.
“This review is part of the Government’s commitment to ensure military personnel receive suitable recognition for their service,” he said.
The Joint Working Group is chaired by former Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Trade Neil Walter. It includes representatives from the Defence Force, the RNZRSA, Veterans’ Affairs New Zealand and an observer from the Honours Unit, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.
Public consultation closes on 23 August 2011, and the working group expects to report back to the Government by 31 October 2011. The consultation documents will be distributed via the RNZRSA Affiliates network, and can also be viewed and downloaded from the New Zealand Defence Force Medals website: http://medals.nzdf.mil.nz
NOTE TO EDITORS
Hard copies of the South-East Asia consultation documents can be obtained by phoning 04 498 6827, emailing email@example.com or writing to the Deputy Director Medals Policy, Defence Personnel Executive, Headquarters New Zealand Defence Force, Private Bag 39997, Wellington 5045.
For further information please contact Ally Clelland, Defence Communications Group 021 569 130