About Veterans' Affairs

We're exceptionally proud to represent and serve those who have fought in our country’s best interests and who make sacrifices – even today – to ensure New Zealand stays a free and safe country.

We estimate there are around 31,000 New Zealand veterans, of varying ages and with diverse backgrounds. They are aged from 19 to more than a hundred years old, and include retired people, those in civilian life, and currently-serving personnel. Our role is to ensure all veterans get the entitlements, services, and support available to them.


We work alongside other government agencies and veterans’ groups to:

  • support veterans and their families
  • celebrate veterans' courage, comradeship and commitment
  • commemorate veterans' loss and sacrifice.

Our work has 4 main areas:

  • administer, and advise on, veterans' entitlements, care, and recognition
  • plan veterans' attendance at commemorations of significant military anniversaries, in partnership with other areas of the New Zealand Defence Force
  • manage the government's relationship with veterans and their representative organisations
  • provide ex-service memorials, and maintain 183 Service cemeteries throughout New Zealand.


The Minister for Veterans is the Hon Ron Mark.

See the Minister's profile on the Beehive's website. (external link)

Briefing to the Incoming Minister

We provide each incoming Minister with a briefing on their portfolio. In October 2017 we provided a briefing to the incoming Minister for Veterans, the Hon Ron Mark.


We're led by the Head of Veterans' Affairs, Bernadine Mackenzie. This statutory position is responsible for the administration of the Veterans' Support Act 2014. 

The Head of Veterans’ Affairs is appointed by the Chief of Defence Force in accordance with section 200 of the Veterans' Support Act 2014 and section 61A of the Defence Act 1990.


We have 3 administrative areas.

Veterans' Services

This area manages services to veterans and their families through:

  • our enquiry line—acts as our key interface with the veteran community & the public, taking over 50,000 calls annually
  • our case managers—assess needs, and connect veterans & families with our services & other services in the community.

It's led by the Manager Veterans' Services, Pat Povey

Projects & Communications

This area manages:

  • communications
  • projects including commemorations (attendance by veterans & others at significant military anniversaries, such as the annual commemorations at Gallipoli).

It's led by the Project Manager, Elaine Myers-Davies. 

Business Services, Policy, Decisions & Entitlements

This area manages:

  • decisions & entitlements
  • payments
  • administrative support (including corporate documentation, and care & maintenance of cemeteries)
  • policy development & planning
  • Ministerial servicing and support.

It's led by the Deputy Head of Veterans' Affairs, Marti Eller.

New Zealand Defence Force

Read about the NZ Defence Force, of which we are part:


Defence Careers (external link) includes vacancies for Veterans' Affairs. The NZ Defence Force actively recruits people from all walks of life.