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The New Zealand Special Service Medal (Asian Tsunami)

Obverse View

The New Zealand Special Service Medal (Asian Tsunami) obverse view

Reverse View

The New Zealand Special Service Medal (Asian Tsunami) reverse view

About the New Zealand Special Service Medal (Asian Tsunami)

The New Zealand Special Service Medal (Asian Tsunami) was instituted in December 2005 to recognise New Zealanders who were involved in rescue, relief and rehabilitation efforts in areas devastated by the earthquake off the coast of Sumatra and the resulting tsunami of 26 December 2004. Service in devastated areas related to the location of missing New Zealanders, the identification of victims, and various other service by New Zealanders, will also be recognised by the new medal.

The length of qualifying service for the medal is at least 7 days between 26 December 2004 and 28 February 2005, or at least 14 days between 26 December 2004 and 26 December 2005. Devastated areas in which New Zealanders were involved in relief efforts include Banda Aceh (Indonesia), Phuket (Thailand), Galle (Sri Lanka), Male (The Maldives), and the Andaman Islands.

The NZSSM (Asian Tsunami) recognises the extreme and hazardous circumstances associated with the environmental, biological, physical and psychological circumstances encountered in the wake of the 26 December 2004 earthquake and subsequent tsunami.

This medal has been awarded to more than 400 persons, including:

more than 145 New Zealand Police personnel.

more than 70 New Zealand Defence Force medical and infantry personnel.

40 Habitat For Humanity New Zealand volunteers.

23 New Zealand civilians who operated with the New Zealand Police Disaster Victim Identification teams.

22 New Zealand Red Cross personnel.

14 Operation Phoenix volunteers.

14 Heli Harvest Ltd staff.

eight World Vision New Zealand volunteers.

seven Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade staff.

four Oxfam New Zealand volunteers.

one New Zealand Customs Service officer, and

one New Zealander working for Save the Children Sri Lanka.

The NZSSM (Asian Tsunami) is the second NZSSM that has been created to recognise service in extreme and hazardous circumstances. The first NZSSM, the NZSSM (Nuclear Testing), was instituted in 2002, to recognise the service of those personnel who were part of an official New Zealand Government presence at an atmospheric nuclear test between 1956 and 1973.

The award of the NZSSM does not qualify a recipient for the award of the New Zealand Operational Service Medal.

Engraving

The NZSSM (Asian Tsunami) is issued engraved on the bottom rim. For military personnel, the recipient's service number, rank, initials, surname, and corps / Service are engraved. These details are as at the date of the service which qualified him or her for the medal.

About the ribbon

The ribbon is 32 mm in width and is composed of 11 vertical stripes: red, white, blue, orange, green, yellow, green, orange, blue, white, and red.  The six colours used in the ribbon are the principal colours of the national flags of those countries affected by the earthquake and resulting tsunami of 26 December 2004:

The ribbon was designed by Mr Phillip O'Shea, CNZM, LVO, the New Zealand Herald of Arms.

Royal Warrant

The Royal Warrant for the New Zealand Special Service Medal can be viewed here.

Medal Regulations

The Regulations for the New Zealand Special Service Medal (Asian Tsunami) can be viewed here.

Clasps and Bars

There are no clasps or bars for this medal.

Order of Wear

The position of this medal in the Wearing of Medals in New Zealand Table can be viewed here.

Media statements concerning the New Zealand Special Service Medal (Asian Tsunami)

30 March 2006 - New Medal for Asian Tsunami Relief Efforts Presented

26 December 2005 - New Medal for Asian Tsunami Relief Efforts

Recipients of the NZSSM (Asian Tsunami)

26 December 2005 - Initial list of 163 persons eligible for the award of the New Zealand Special Service Medal (Asian Tsunami)

9 December 2014 - Additional list of persons awarded the New Zealand Special Service Medal (Asian Tsunami)

Further details and application form

Further details on the eligibility criteria, and a downloadable application form, can be found on the NZSSM (Asian Tsunami) information and application form page of the NZDF Medals website.

Media statements concerning service by New Zealand Defence Force personnel in Banda Aceh: