News item information
- Veterans' Advisory Board
Veterans' Advisory Board progress on repatriation review
Chris Mullane, Chairperson of the Veterans’ Advisory Board today said “the Board is making progress with its consideration of the Government’s current policy of not repatriating the bodies of New Zealand military personnel who died while serving overseas between January 1948 and mid-1970”.
“Since being tasked with this matter on 5 October 2016 we have met three times to receive input from various government departments and non-government agencies. We have also been working on the review between meetings. At this week’s meeting on 14 December we heard from some family members of military personnel buried overseas and from a repatriation advocate”, said Mr Mullane.
Mr Mullane advised “we expect to further engage with families in 2017 to hear their views on the current policy, and what they would hope to see happen should that policy change.”
“Our next meeting is on 18 January 2017. We then intend to meet fortnightly so we can provide initial advice to the Minister by our deadline of late March 2017. We encourage affected family/whanau/next-of-kin to contact our Board Secretary, either through the Board’s webpage on the Veterans’ Affairs website http://www.veteransaffairs.mil.nz/vab or via the Veterans’ Affairs free phone enquiry line on 0800 483 8372, to indicate their willingness to engage with us and provide contact details so arrangements can be made”, said 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.