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New Zealand Special Service Medal (Asian Tsunami) - Information and application form

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About the New Zealand Special Service Medal (Asian Tsunami)

The New Zealand Special Service Medal, (NZSSM), (Asian Tsunami) is awarded to those New Zealanders who were involved in rescue, relief and rehabilitation efforts in areas devastated by the 26 December 2004 earthquake centred off Aceh province in Indonesia, and the resulting tsunami.

The length of qualifying service for the medal is at least 7 days (continuous or aggregated) between 26 December 2004 and 28 February 2005, or at least 14 days (continuous or aggregated) between 26 December 2004 and 26 December 2005.

Devastated areas in which New Zealanders were involved in relief and recovery work include Banda Aceh (Indonesia), Phuket (Thailand), Galle (Sri Lanka), Male (The Maldives), and the Andaman Islands.

Service being recognised

The medal recognises the extreme or hazardous circumstances associated with service on land in devastated areas involving—
(a) the following physical risks:

(i) aftershocks of the earthquake;
(ii) debris and wreckage from the earthquake, its aftershocks, or the tsunami;
(iii) disease and infection;
(iv) potential conflict between government and separatist forces in Aceh and Sri Lanka;
(v) possible terrorist attacks on relief operations;

(b) the following psychological risks;

(i) body recovery;
(ii) victim identification;
(iii) the scale of the devastation.

Persons eligible for the medal

The following persons can be awarded the NZSSM (Asian Tsunami):

  • (a) members of the New Zealand Defence Force, members of the New Zealand Police, and New Zealand civilians employed by the New Zealand Government, including those who assisted New Zealand citizens in an affected area;
  • (b) New Zealand civilians working for or with a hospital, aid organisation, or ethnic organisation that has a New Zealand office;
  • (c) other New Zealand civilians who provided service, including New Zealanders who, at the time of the disaster, were in the devastated areas and who provided assistance to persons in need.

Proof of service

Proof of service in a devastated area will be required before the NZSSM (Asian Tsunami) can be issued. The proof of service must state the type of service performed and its duration, and may be one or more of the following:

  • (a) a statement signed by the chief executive of the organisation that controlled or directed the person;
    (b) a statutory declaration by the person eligible for the medal, their employer, or a witness to the person’s services;
    (c) other evidence as may be required by the Chief of Defence Force, or an officer of the New Zealand Defence Force authorised by the Chief of Defence Force.

Application form

Applicants for the NZSSM (Asian Tsunami) must complete the following form:

Please provide details of ALL service in an area or areas devastated by the earthquake and/or resulting tsunami.

The completed application form should then be sent to :

Deputy Director Medals Policy
Defence Personnel Executive
Headquarters New Zealand Defence Force
Private Bag 39997
WELLINGTON 5045

For any questions please use our contact form.

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 This page was last reviewed 7 June, 2013 and is current.

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