28 November 2012
New Zealand Second World War veterans who served in the Pacific now have longer to register expressions of interest in attending 70th anniversary commemorations of the War in the Pacific, in Noumea, New Caledonia next April.
The closing date for registrations has been extended to 7 December 2012, and the eligibility criteria widened to include more Pacific War veterans.
Veterans’ Affairs New Zealand General Manager, Rick Ottaway, said it is important that as many veterans as possible are given the opportunity to attend the commemorations in Noumea.
"This is a great opportunity for veterans to have their service recognised, as well as pay tribute to those who did not return to New Zealand, and we want to ensure as many as are eligible can be there.
"So far there has been a lot of interest from veterans who would like to attend the commemorations, which is great," Mr Ottaway said.
More than 165 expressions of interest have been received to date.
Thousands of New Zealanders fought in the Pacific War, which began with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour on 7 December 1941, and ended with the Japanese surrender on 2 September 1945.
To be eligible to attend commemorations in Noumea, veterans must have attested into the New Zealand Armed Forces between 8 December 1941 and 2 December 1945, and have been awarded, or qualify for, the Pacific Star or the Defence Medal for service in the Pacific.
Veterans will also need to meet strict medical and fitness criteria to ensure they are well enough to travel as part of the delegation and participate in the commemorative events.
Commemorations will take place in Noumea on 25 and 26 April 2013. A ceremony will also be held in New Zealand in May 2013.
Costs associated with travel, accommodation, transport and medical costs will be met by Veterans’ Affairs New Zealand.
Veterans wishing to register interest in attending commemorations in New Caledonia should contact Veterans’ Affairs New Zealand by freephone on 0800 483 8372 or email firstname.lastname@example.org by 7 December 2012.
For further information please contact Katherine O’Donnell, Media Advisor - Defence Communications Group, on 021 664 293