News item information
- Veterans' Advisory Board
Veterans' Advisory Board meets on repatriation policy
Chairperson of the Veterans’ Advisory Board, Chris Mullane, today announced that the Board has met to begin its consideration of the Government’s current policy of not repatriating the bodies of New Zealand military personnel who died while serving overseas between 1948 and mid-1970, as per the request made by Minister of Veterans’ Affairs, Hon Craig Foss, on 5 October 2016.
“We met on 8 November 2016 to begin our consideration, and are in the process of finalising our next meeting, said Mr Mullane.
Mr Mullane advised, “the Board intends to meet regularly to ensure that consideration of the complexities surrounding the issue of repatriation can be traversed at a steady pace so the Board can meet the deadline of providing initial advice to the Minister by March 2017.
“The Board’s webpage on the Veterans’ Affairs website http://www.veteransaffairs.mil.nz/about/boards/veterans-advisory-board/ (external link) will be updated as each meeting date is confirmed. The next meeting is scheduled for this week, on Thursday, 24 November 2016”, informed Mr Mullane.
“We agree with the Minister that engagement with stakeholders is integral to ensuring the complexities of repatriation are fully considered. We particularly look forward to engaging with the family/whanau and next-of-kin of those persons buried overseas to hear their views on the current repatriation policy. We encourage any affected family/whanau or next-of-kin who wish to be consulted, to contact the Board Secretary through our webpage or via the Veterans’ Affairs free phone enquiry line on 0800 483 8372 so that arrangements for engaging with them can be made”, advised Mr Mullane.
The Veterans’ Advisory Board is a statutory body established under section 247 of the Veterans’ Support Act 2014. The Board’s function is to provide advice and comment to the Minister of Veterans’ Affairs on a range of issues impacting on veterans, including advice on policies in respect of veterans’ entitlements.