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FAQs on the NZDF Service Medal survey in 2009

 

Update - 17 August 2011

Update - 11 October 2010

Update - 4 August 2010

The Government is considering the Medallic Recognition Joint Working Group's report on the proposed NZDF Medal.

The NZDF is NOT currently accepting applications for the planned New Zealand Defence Force Medal.

It will take approximately 20 to 22 weeks from when a decision is made by the Government, before any medals are available to be issued. There will need to be a tender process for the manufacturer(s), and then the medal and ribbon will still need to be manufactured.

The NZDF Medals Office expects a large number of people to apply for the medal and, even with extra staff to process the applications, this could potentially be a two to three year project.

Update from Minister of Defence - 13 October 2009

Wayne Mapp, Minister of Defence, spoke this afternoon at the 93rd RNZRSA National Council Meeting in Wellington.  On the NZDF Medal he said:

"Grappling with the future is one part of my responsibilities. Ensuring that we learn from, and remember the past is another.

Military service places unique demands on people, whether they are deployed overseas or not. The training is rigorous. The discipline can be tough. The hours can be demanding. It is a calling apart from normal civilian life. This is why service in our armed forces deserves special recognition.

The Government is committed to formally recognising non-operational service. This is long overdue. Medallic recognition for those who undertook Compulsory Military Training and balloted National Service has been under consideration since the late 1990s. The Associate Minister and I are currently considering a report from the Joint Working Group proposing the best way forward for this important project."

The full speech by the Minister can be read on http://www.beehive.govt.nz

The NZDF is NOT currently accepting applications for the planned New Zealand Defence Force Medal. It is anticipated that a call for applications will happen in 2010.

Update - 11 September 2009

The Medallic Recognition Joint Working Group is on target to present a report to the government on the proposed NZDF Medal by 30 September 2009.

Update - 11 August 2009

Over 5,700 replies were received to the NZDF Medal: Have Your Say survey. The survey has now closed. The NZDF expresses its thanks to all who took the time to complete the survey.

I have heard that a medal survey happened in 2009. Is this correct? and what was the survey about?

Yes, from 18 June 2009 to 23 July 2009 a survey was open to obtain information from current and ex-service personnel and the public about a proposed New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) Medal for non-operational service.

What happened after the survey closed?

The (Joint Working Group) JWG analysed and considered the results of the survey and any other submissions. They presented a report to the Government on their findings in late September 2009.

Why WEre people asked for their views?

The JWG was tasked by the Government to ensure that service personnel and the public were consulted about the eligibility criteria for the NZDF medal before any final decisions or announcements are made. Setting the length of service and eligibility criteria for a NZDF medal is a complex matter, due to the options which needed to be reviewed and discussed with stakeholders.

Who’s supporting the idea?

In National’s October 2008 pre-election Veterans’ Policy there was the following pledge: “National supports the RNZRSA proposal to introduce a New Zealand Defence Force Medal to recognise all New Zealanders who have served in our regular and non-regular forces.”

Why do we need a Service Medal at all?

The intent of the proposed NZDF Medal would be to recognise the unique requirements of military service. These requirements include: - commitment to service of the Crown (represented by an oath / affirmation of allegiance),- liability for operational service subject to military discipline and lifestyle,- and imposed constraints on employment conditions and personal freedoms.

When did the survey close?

The survey closed at 5 p.m. on 23 July 2009.

I’ve heard about the JWG – what is this?

A Medallic Recognition Joint Working Group (JWG) has been established with an independent chair and two representatives from the NZDF, Royal New Zealand Returned and Services' Association (RNZRSA), Veterans’ Affairs New Zealand and an observer from the Honours Secretariat and the New Zealand Police. This Group made sure that all eligible persons and groups had the opportunity to comment on the proposed new medal, and that fair eligibility criteria for the new medal are developed.

I served in the military in the 1950s. Would I be eligible for the proposed medal?

That will depend on how long the Government decides the required length of service needs to be. The new medal is intended to recognise military service from 3 September 1945 to the present. So you may be eligible for the medal.

Why is the eligibility start date 3 September 1945?

Because personnel who served New Zealand during the Second World War have already been appropriately recognised by the New Zealand War Service Medal.

How long would I need to have served in the military to qualify for the proposed medal?

The length of service is still to be decided by the Government. Individuals were able to tell us in the online survey how long they believed someone should have served to be eligible for the medal.

How much would it cost?

The cost to the Government will depend on the criteria determined by the Government. Eligible individuals will be issued the medal free of charge (which is NZDF policy).

Will the medal be awarded to those who undertook Compulsory Military Training (CMT) and balloted National Service?

That would be decided by the Government if the medal is instituted.

Why do we need to introduce a new medal now?

Most of the personnel who undertook Compulsory Military Training and balloted National Service are now in their 60s and 70s. Therefore, it is important that the medal is instituted in a timely manner, to enable those eligible, to wear it proudly on Anzac Day 2011. The majority of volunteers who served in the 1950s and 1960s are also in their 60s, 70s and 80s.

Did the Joint Working Group look at non-operational service undertaken by military personnel in Malaysia and Singapore between 1966 and 1989?

Yes. The JWG considered this service when it made its recommendations to the Government on the NZDF Medal.

Did the Joint Working Group look at non-operational service undertaken by military personnel in the Antarctic since 1946?

Yes. The JWG considered this service when it made its recommendations to the Government on the NZDF Medal.

Was my Veterans’ Club able to make a written submission to the JWG?

Yes. All ex-service personnel’ organisations and other interested organisations or individuals, had the opportunity in June and July 2009 to make a written submission. Written submission forms were downloadable from the NZDF website: http://nzdf.mil.nz/medal-survey/ , and then click on ‘Written Submissions’.

Was my Veterans’ Club able to present our case in person to the JWG?

Yes. Organisations that wanted to give submissions in person to the Medallic Recognition Joint Working Group were able to present their case in person. The rules were that - Submissions in person could only be made in Wellington at a pre-organised time and date, and - All travel and accommodation expenses were the responsibility of the organisation or person who wanted to make the submission.

My spouse passed away several years ago. He/she served in the Army from 1960 to 1980. Will I be able to claim his/her medal?

Yes. It is intended that the proposed new medal will also be issued to the families of deceased service persons. This is the same policy as for New Zealand campaign medals and special service medals. One medal will be awarded per eligible service person or ex service person.

What will the medal look like?

That is still to be decided by the Government.

Where will the medal go in the Order of Wear?

That is still to be decided by the Government.

Will I be eligible for a War Pension if I receive this medal?

Only if you already meet the requirements for receiving a War Pension. The award of the NZDF Medal by itself would not confer entitlement to War Pension coverage.

Is the NZDF Medal going to replace the existing medals for long service? e.g. the Long Service and Good Conduct Medals?

No. The NZDF Medal would be separate from the long service awards system. Eligible persons could be awarded both an NZDF Medal and a Long Service and Good Conduct Medal.

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 This page was last reviewed 29 September, 2011 and is current.

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