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New medals for service in Iraq and Solomon Islands

16 September 2004

Minister of Defence Mark Burton today announced a new medal to recognise the service of New Zealand personnel who have served in Iraq since May 2003.

“This new medal will recognise the exceptional service and achievements of these personnel in a challenging environment. More than 120 New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel who have served in Iraq will be eligible to accept and wear the medal.

“Two New Zealand personnel were initially deployed to Basrah, to work with the United Nations Mine Action Service’s Mine Action Coordination Team. Since then, the NZDF has contributed military engineers and support personnel to Iraq under United Nations Resolution 1483, to work on humanitarian, rehabilitation and reconstruction projects. Currently, 61 New Zealand personnel are serving in Basrah.”

Mark Burton also announced that New Zealand personnel who have served with the Regional Assistance Mission in the Solomon Islands (RAMSI) since 24 July 2003 will soon receive the New Zealand General Service Medal (Solomon Islands) in recognition of their service.

“RAMSI is an Australian-led intervention force, providing assistance in the restoration of law and order to the Solomon Islands. At the peak of New Zealand’s contribution, over 220 NZDF personnel and 35 New Zealand police officers were serving in the Solomon Islands. In all, over 500 NZDF personnel have served as part of this mission, as have 110 New Zealand police officers.”

“New Zealand police personnel who have provided support and assistance for 30 days or longer to the Solomon Islands Government in re-establishing order between 6 October 2002 and 23 July 2003 will also be eligible for this award.”

“New Zealand military personnel will continue to serve in the Solomon Islands until 31 July 2006. In addition, 35 New Zealand police officers will continue to work long-term to help rebuild the Royal Solomon Islands Police.”

Contact: Jenny Alexander 04 4719773, 021 887087

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