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BREAKING MEDALS NEWS

NZ Defence Service Medals presented at Parliament on 14 April 2011.

 

2019 News Items

Vietnam Veterans awarded gallantry citation by Australia

5 April 2019

Major General Gregory Bilton, Forces Commander of the Australian Army, presents members of 161 Battery, 16th Field Regiment, Royal New Zealand Artillery, with their insignia of the Australian Unit Citation for Gallantry for their service in the Vietnam War.

Caption: Major General Gregory Bilton, Forces Commander of the Australian Army, presents members of 161 Battery, 16th Field Regiment, Royal New Zealand Artillery, with their insignia of the Australian Unit Citation for Gallantry for their service in the Vietnam War.

The insignia for the Australian Unit Citation for Gallantry is worn only by the veterans of these battles, and is awarded to their families if the veteran is deceased.

Caption: The insignia for the Australian Unit Citation for Gallantry is worn only by the veterans of these battles, and is awarded to their families if the veteran is deceased.

NZDF media release

Fourteen veterans who supported Australian troops in the Vietnam War have been the first soldiers from a New Zealand military unit to be awarded an Australian Unit Citation for Gallantry.

Two families also received the citation on behalf of their loved ones who had died since returning from Vietnam.

The veterans from 161 Battery, 16th Field Regiment, Royal New Zealand Artillery, were presented with their citations at Linton Military Camp by Major General Gregory Bilton, Forces Commander of the Australian Army, on behalf of Lieutenant General Rick Burr, Chief of the Australian Army.

The award recognises around 120 members of 161 Battery, Royal New Zealand Artillery, who participated in the Battles of Coral and Balmoral in Vietnam between 12 May and 6 June 1968, as well as other New Zealand Armed Forces personnel directly involved in one or both battles.

The Battles of Coral and Balmoral were among the largest and most protracted fought by the Australian Task Force in the Vietnam War.

The 161 Battery gunners received high praise for the accuracy and volume of fire support they provided at critical stages of attacks on the Australian battalion positions, and Major General Bilton said he felt privileged to be able to present the insignia for the award to the veterans.

“This is well deserved and long overdue,” he said.

The veterans were accompanied by dozens of family members to witness the award. Defence and Veterans Minister Ron Mark, who reviewed the parade, said the strong relationship between Australia and New Zealand militaries was no more evident than during the Vietnam War and the relationship continued through current deployments.

“Our military relationship now is stronger because of those who came before,” Mr Mark said.

While this is the first Australian Unit Citation for Gallantry offered to a New Zealand military unit, in 2010 approval was given for three New Zealand Army personnel who were attached to D Company, 6th Battalion Royal Australian Regiment at the Battle of Long Tan in Vietnam in 1966, to accept and wear the Australian Unit Citation for Gallantry awarded to D Company.

Background Information

Members of 161 Battery, Royal New Zealand Artillery, initially deployed to Vietnam near Bien Hoa in July 1965. They moved to Nui Dat in the neighbouring Phuoc Tuy province as part of the newly formed 1st Australian Task Force on 23 May, 1966, and provided fire support to successive Australian and New Zealand battalions from that date until withdrawn in May 1971.

One of the first significant operations for the 1st Australian Task Force was to deploy 120 kilometres from their Nui Dat base to an area in Bien Hoa Province designated “Area of Operation Surfers”. This was an area important to the North Vietnamese Army offensive operations being conducted against Saigon in 1968. The Task Force established Fire Support Bases named Coral and Balmoral.

The battles that followed were among the largest and most protracted fought by the Australian Task Force in the Vietnam War. The gunners of 161 Battery received high praise for the accuracy and volume of fire support they provided at critical stages of attacks on the Australian battalion positions.

Related news item:

19 February 2019 - Australian Unit Citation for 161 Battery, Royal New Zealand Artillery Gallantry in Vietnam

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Australian Unit Citation for 161 Battery, Royal New Zealand Artillery Gallantry in Vietnam

19 February 2019

Media release by the Hon Ron Mark, Minister for Veterans

The Government has agreed that Royal New Zealand Artillery personnel who served in the Vietnam War will be awarded the Australian Unit Citation for Gallantry.

The award affects around 120 members of 161 Battery, Royal New Zealand Artillery, who participated in the Battles of Coral and Balmoral in Vietnam between 12 May and 6 June 1968, as well as other New Zealand Armed Forces personnel directly involved in one or both battles.

“The Battles of Coral and Balmoral were among the largest and most protracted fought by the Australian Task Force in the Vietnam War. The 161 Battery gunners received high praise for the accuracy and volume of fire support they provided at critical stages of attacks on the Australian battalion positions,” says Ron Mark.

“The Australian Government last year awarded the Australian Unit Citation for Gallantry in recognition of the ‘extraordinary gallantry’ the Australian units provided during the battles at Fire Support Bases Coral and Balmoral between 12 May and 6 June 1968. The award was also offered by the Australian Government to 161 Battery Royal New Zealand Artillery.

“The Australian Unit Citation for Gallantry is awarded to a unit for ‘extraordinary gallantry’ as a team in warlike operations. It is not awarded for acts of gallantry performed by an individual or by small groups of personnel.

“A formal presentation by representatives of the Australian Government of this award is being planned at Linton Military Camp in March 2019,” says Ron Mark.

Eligible veterans who are not in contact with the Royal New Zealand Artillery Association should provide their contact details to New Zealand Defence Force Personnel Archives and Medals, Private Bag 905, Upper Hutt 5140. Email: NZDF.pam@nzdf.mil.nz or telephone: 04 527 5280.

Background Notes

History

161 Battery, Royal New Zealand Artillery initially deployed to Vietnam near Bien Hoa in July 1965. They moved to Nui Dat in the neighbouring Phuoc Tuy province as part of the newly formed 1st Australian Task Force on 23 May 1966, and provided fire support to successive Australian and New Zealand battalions from that date until withdrawn in May 1971.

One of the first major operations for the 1st Australian Task Force was to deploy 120 kilometres from their Nui Dat base to an area in Bien Hoa Province designated “Area of Operation Surfers”. This was an area important to the North Vietnamese Army offensive operations being conducted against Saigon in 1968. The Task Force established Fire Support Bases named Coral and Balmoral.

The battles that followed were among the largest and most protracted fought by the Australian Task Force in the Vietnam War. The gunners of 161 Battery received high praise for the accuracy and volume of fire support they provided at critical stages of attacks on the Australian battalion positions.

This is the first Australian Unit Citation for Gallantry offered to a New Zealand military unit. In 2010, approval was given for three New Zealand Army personnel who were attached to D Company, 6th Battalion Royal Australian Regiment at the Battle of Long Tan in Vietnam in 1966 to accept and wear the Australian Unit Citation for Gallantry awarded to D Company.

Eligibility

Authority to wear the insignia associated with this unit citation is only for those veterans who participated in the battles, none of whom are serving New Zealand Defence Force military personnel. Current personnel of 161 Battery will not wear the insignia as a dress embellishment.

Information about the planned presentation in March 2019 will be sent to eligible veterans through the Royal New Zealand Artillery Association email and social media networks. Eligible veterans who are not in contact with the Royal New Zealand Artillery Association should provide their contact details to New Zealand Defence Force Personnel Archives and Medals, Private Bag 905, Upper Hutt 5140. Email: NZDF.pam@nzdf.mil.nz or telephone: 04 527 5280.

Related news item:

5 April 2019 - Vietnam Veterans awarded gallantry citation by Australia

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Mentioned in Despatches awards ceremonies in Auckland and Wellington

15 February 2019

Republished from The Governor-General's blog (the offical blog of the Governor-General of New Zealand) - https://gg.govt.nz/governor-general/blog/2019/02/mentioned-despatches-awards-auckland-and-wellington

This week Dame Patsy has presented Mentioned in Despatches awards to veterans of the Vietnam War, to family members, or to friends of deceased recipients.

Mentioned in Despatches awards were given in recognition of gallantry and high levels of service. The award is visible on the Vietnam Medal as a bronze oak leaf.

At the time, the citations were generally written by the commander of the unit involved and sometimes were read out on a Unit Parade. At this week's ceremony, as the citations were read, the acts of gallantry and service of each recipient was acknowledged, and a written copy was given to the recipients or their representatives.

Image Gallery for Thursday, 14 February 2019 AM
Image Gallery for Thursday, 14 February 2019 PM
Image Gallery for Friday, 15 February 2019 PM

Related news item:

11 February 2019 - Gallant Vietnam War veterans to be formally acknowledged

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Gallant Vietnam War veterans to be formally acknowledged

11 February 2019

Media release by Hon Ron Mark, Minister for Veterans

The Governor-General, Dame Patsy Reddy, will make a formal presentation to service personnel who were Mentioned in Despatches (MID), during the Vietnam War, at ceremonies in Auckland and Wellington this week.

“The ceremonies will provide the formal recognition these brave individuals did not receive following their return from the Vietnam War,” says Minister for Veterans Ron Mark.

“Receiving an MID is a huge honour which followed an act of great bravery, or exceptional service.

“The practice during the time of the Vietnam War was for recognition through an informal handshake by the Commanding Officer, or an announcement in the New Zealand Gazette. Today’s practice would include a formal military parade.

“Following their return from service many Vietnam veterans felt let down by the nation they had served, and in 2008 the Government of the day arranged a formal parade and apology.

“However, veterans’ groups have requested more formal recognition for those who received an MID and this Government agrees.

“The ceremonies at Government House is a fitting way to put this wrong to right and to acknowledge these brave men who went above and beyond the call of duty.

“I’d like to thank Warrant Officer Class One (Retired) Bob Davies, who has been tireless in pursuing this on behalf of the veterans,” says Ron Mark.

The ceremonies will take place at the following times and locations:

• Thursday 14 February, Government House Auckland, 10.30am and 2pm
• Friday 15 February, Government House Wellington, 2pm

Thirty awards will be presented to those surviving veterans or the family representative of those who have passed away.

As the veterans already wear the emblem which designates they received an MID, a formal letter and copy of their citation will be presented at the ceremony.

Further information:

The citations for British Commonwealth Royal Honours and gallantry and bravery awards to New Zealand military personnel for service in Vietnam have been published on the VietnamWar.govt.nz website. This includes citations for persons who were appointed as Officers and Members of the Order of the British Empire, and recipients of the Military Cross, Distinguished Flying Cross, Distinguished Conduct Medal, Military Medal, British Empire Medal, Mention in Despatches, Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct and Commendations for Valuable Service in the Air.

Related news item:

15 February 2019 - Mention in Despatches award ceremonies in Auckland and Wellington

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NZDF Honours in the 2019 New Year Honours list

4 January 2019

Four NZDF personnel have had their meritorious service recognised in the New Year's Honours List 2019.

The New Zealand Order of Merit recognises those who, in any field of endeavour, have rendered meritorious service to the Crown and the nation, or who have become distinguished by their eminence, talents, contributions or other merits.

The New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration (DSD) recognises distinguished military service by regular, territorial and reserve members of the New Zealand Defence Force, including command and leadership and service in an operational environment, or in support of operations.

The Citations for the Awards

Appointed as a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM):

Lieutenant General Timothy James KEATING, MNZM (Rtd)

Lieutenant General Tim Keating was appointed Chief of Defence Force for a three-year term in January 2014 and had his appointment extended until 2018. Under his command the New Zealand Defence Force has helped train Iraqi Defence Force personnel to respond to the rise of ISIS in the Middle East and made significant contributions to anti-piracy efforts in the region. He strengthened New Zealand’s international military relationships, overseeing New Zealand’s participation in military exercises with other countries, reciprocal involvement of other nations in New Zealand-hosted exercises, and the establishment of collaborative agreements. He oversaw effective Defence Force responses in Vanuatu, Fiji, Tasmania, and domestically to a series of natural disasters. He championed a number of programmes to improve the welfare of and support for Defence Force personnel, including the Force for Families information hub and discount scheme for military families, the Operation Respect programme established to challenge deep-seated cultural norms to make the Defence Force a safer work place, and the More Military Women programme, as well as new mental health and wellbeing strategies. He oversaw the Defence Force’s involvement in New Zealand’s First World War/Gallipoli centenary commemorations programme. Lieutenant General Keating also steered the development of a 10-year strategy to 2025 that will deliver enhanced capabilities through a more integrated Defence Force.

To receive the New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration (DSD):

Colonel Ruth Leone PUTZE

Colonel Ruth Putze was posted to the United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation (UNTSO) from July 2015 to February 2016, and served as the Chief of the Observer Group in Lebanon, as well as the Senior National Officer for the New Zealand contingent.

In this role she was responsible for all UNTSO operations within Lebanon, the safety of the military Observer Group personnel under her command, and for maintaining liaison and a cooperative working environment between the Observer Group, the United Nations Interim Observer Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), other UN agencies and local communities. As one of only two female commanders serving in the Middle East (both with UNTSO) and the only one in South Lebanon, her exceptional performance has made her a role model for women throughout UNIFIL and UNTSO. Her work ethic and ability to build relationships with her counterparts and seniors across more than 40 troop-contributing nations, as well as community leaders and members of the national military forces, were significant factors in the success of her command. During this time she instituted and completed a number of important projects, including the replacement of the Force’s armoured vehicles and an enhanced induction training regime for new observers. As the Senior National Officer, Colonel Putze added considerably to New Zealand’s knowledge of current events in Lebanon, Israel and Syria.

Lieutenant (Acting Lieutenant Commander) Jan Joseph PETERSON, RNZN

Acting Lieutenant Commander Jan Peterson was the Force Engineer Officer for the Multi-National Force and Observers (MFO) Mission in Sinai for 12 months across 2017/2018.

He became involved during the Force’s greatest restructure and modernisation programme in its 36-year history, including relocation from one end of the peninsula to the other. This required the relocation of more than 500 staff, and significant infrastructure and capability development at the new South Camp base. The volume of engineering projects had increased from 7 to 10 a year to more than 77 by the time he arrived. He was a central figure in the planning, coordination and delivery of many of the major infrastructure projects, which included the South Camp Headquarters Building, cold storage facility and warehouse, security perimeter fence and a new vehicle maintenance facility. He led the design, planning and resource coordination for the construction of four Remote Sites for Observer Force personnel, which included accommodation, communal facilities and protection. The site on Tiran Island was particularly challenging, requiring delivery of construction material via more than 350 underslung loads from Black Hawk helicopters. His relationship-building, particularly with Egyptian contractors, enabled him to deliver projects to schedule despite ambitious timelines. Lieutenant Commander Peterson made a significant contribution to the MFO’s ability to carry out its mission now and into the future.

Serviceman “S”

Serviceman S has made significant contributions to New Zealand’s interests during a number of tours of duty in the Middle East over the past five years. Across several deployments in challenging environments, Serviceman S has created frameworks and implemented operations that have supported his successors and continued to produce results. He demonstrated effectiveness in establishing close working relationships with coalition partners and in understanding complex operating environments to produce positive and lasting outcomes.

Related media statements:

5 June 2018 - Queen’s Birthday Honours 2018

5 January 2018 - New Year's Honours recognise meritorious service

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Update on the Long Service Awards Review

4 January 2019

Changes to the eligibility rules for the existing ten New Zealand military long service awards are expected to be announced in the first half of 2019, once the governing Royal Warrants and accompanying regulations are in place.

As advised on 25 August 2015, the existing long service awards will remain, but the entitlement criteria will allow all eligible New Zealand military service to be counted. For example, service will be able to be accumulated rather than continuous (as is currently required for some awards). This will deliver a fairer system while maintaining the standing of the long service awards.

The appropriate long service award issued will reflect the majority of each recipient’s service. Persons who already have a long service award will continue to wear the award they have. There will be no swapping of awards.

Current serving military personnel will not need to apply for their long service entitlement to be assessed under the new rules. They will be automatically assessed via the data in their SAP HCM records. Please note that given the number of eligible personnel it may take around 12 to 18 months after the announcement to confirm and issue the medal entitlement for every current serving military Service person.

Applications from eligible ex-Service persons will be called for in 2019, once a project team of additional staff has been hired and trained.

Full information on the changes will be released at the time of the formal announcement.

Also see:

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2018 News Items

Change in the Order of Wear of the Rhodesia Medal

12 September 2018

The New Zealand Order of Wear was amended on 23 August 2018. One of the changes allows the Rhodesia Medal to be worn as a ‘campaign medal’.

Previously it was worn after the New Zealand Defence Service Medal, rather than as a campaign medal.

Changing its order of wear brings the Rhodesia Medal in line with all other medals for operational service, and is consistent with the decision in 2001 to award the New Zealand Operational Service Medal for this service.

74 New Zealand military personnel served in Rhodesia prior to and during the independence elections in 1980.

The new position of the Rhodesia Medal can be seen on the Wearing of Medals in New Zealand – a guide to the correct order of wear - page of our website.

The official New Zealand Order of Wear is published on the New Zealand Honours Unit (Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet) website. For the Rhodesia Medal see Note 3.v.e.

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New medal for meritorious service in the public service - The New Zealand Public Service Medal

13 August 2018

Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister - media release

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has today announced a new medal, the New Zealand Public Service Medal, that recognises meritorious service in the Public Service.

The medal will be awarded to public servants who have provided service that has brought significant benefit or prestige to New Zealand or the Public Service, or who go above and beyond what is expected.

“Recognising and celebrating public servants who have been exemplary or a model to others is an important way to promote and acknowledge the work of the public sector,” Jacinda Ardern said.

"The new medal will also help reaffirm the Public Service’s spirit of service to the community that New Zealand’s public servants bring to their work every day.

“Public servants rarely get acknowledged for the exceptional work they do that changes New Zealand society and lives for the better.

“This medal will recognise those public servants who have really made a difference.

“Some of the greatest contributions of public servants are not always obvious to the public. Public servants find solutions to New Zealand’s most challenging problems and implement big changes.

“They create new ways for New Zealanders to access services, whether it be cutting wait times to receive social support or designing innovative campaigns that lead to better health and education outcomes.

“This is the calibre of service we can be proud of because it changes peoples’ lives.

“It’s time we acknowledge high-achieving public servants. New Zealand needs public servants prepared to take risks and find solutions to the big challenges. I hope that this new medal will inspire others to do that,” Jacinda Ardern said.

New Zealand’s current Royal Honours system includes extensive options for the recognition of state servants, particularly those in the Armed Forces and uniformed services, such as Police, and Fire and Emergency NZ. But there is no medal that exclusively recognises the work, achievements, and contribution of core public servants.

The introduction of a new medal is consistent with other jurisdictions, including Australia. It will be instituted by Royal Warrant.

The medal, which will be presented for the first time later in the year by State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes, will be part of the New Zealand Royal Honours system. It is anticipated that around five medals will be awarded each year.

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New Public Service Medal for meritorious service

Written on 14 August 2018 by Peter Hughes, State Services Commissioner and Head of State Services (from http://www.ssc.govt.nz/node/10680)

I’ve always believed in the power of awards and recognition.

Public Servants work hard for New Zealanders. They come to work wanting to do the best job they can for their communities.

So I’m really pleased the Prime Minister has announced the introduction of a new Public Service Medal.

This medal is for meritorious service. It’s for those public servants who make a real difference and inspire the rest of us.

Recognition is important. And it’s fitting the new medal will be presented this year when we are celebrating Public Service Day for the first time.

Public Service Day is 7 November, the day in 1912 the Public Service Act became law. The medal will be presented each year on or as close as possible to this date.

In addition to the medal, I will be presenting Commendations for Frontline Excellence to those who have really gone the extra mile in demonstrating a spirit of service to the community.

Public Service Day is about more than awards. It’s about reflecting on the ideal of public service. It’s also an opportunity to remind ourselves that New Zealand has a Public Service that values neutrality, fairness and integrity - a public service we can all be proud of.

Every day all around the country public servants are doing great work to make a difference for New Zealand and New Zealanders. They deserve our support. And this recognition.

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Queen’s Birthday Honours 2018

5 June 2018

Two New Zealand Defence Force personnel have been awarded Queen’s Birthday Honours. Squadron Leader Peter Cochran has been appointed as a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) and Captain Gabrielle Gofton has been awarded the New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration (DSD).

The New Zealand Order of Merit recognises those who, in any field of endeavour, have rendered meritorious service to the Crown and the nation, or who have become distinguished by their eminence, talents, contributions or other merits.

The New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration (DSD) recognises distinguished military service by regular, territorial and reserve members of the New Zealand Defence Force, including command and leadership and service in an operational environment, or in support of operations.

The Citations for the Awards

Appointed as a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM):

Squadron Leader Peter Anthony Cochran, RNZAF

For services to the New Zealand Defence Force

Squadron Leader Peter Cochran has been a key figure in Royal New Zealand Air Force pilot training and the maintenance of flying standards for more than 40 years, and particularly since 1990.

Squadron Leader Cochran enlisted in the RNZAF in 1966 and became a Qualified Flying Instructor in 1973, instructing on the Harvard, Devon and Strikemaster aircraft. He engaged in an instructor exchange with the Royal Australian Air Force. He re-enlisted in the RNZAF in 1990 and was posted to the Central Flying School, where he served for the next 22 years, with the exception of four operational tours to the Middle East and Afghanistan.

He was a member of the Red Checkers display team for 16 seasons. While not currently flying, he remains the RNZAF’s most experienced pilot in recent years, having amassed more than 11,000 flying hours. The majority of these were spent on the professional development of flying instructors where his skill, high standards and safety-conscious approach has positively shaped the culture of flying training in the RNZAF.

After retiring in 2012 Squadron Leader Cochran returned to service in 2015 as a member of the Active Reserve, and is currently engaged as a part-time simulator operator with the Helicopter Synthetic Training Centre.

 

To receive the New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration (DSD):

Captain Gabrielle Louise Gofton

For services to the New Zealand Defence Force

Captain Gabrielle Gofton served as the Force Engineer Project Officer and Second-in-Command of the New Zealand Contingent with the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) in Sinai, Egypt, from May 2016 to May 2017.

At a time of significant change in the level of operational threat to the MFO, Captain Gofton, then as Acting Major, project-managed the relocation of the force headquarters and the New Zealand contingent from their original bases in the north of Sinai to a new camp in the south of the peninsula. This became the largest building programme undertaken since the establishment of the MFO in 1982 and involved a new headquarters building, individual accommodation units, vehicle maintenance facility, aircraft hangers, and security infrastructure.

Captain Gofton was responsible for designing and managing the construction of the perimeter fences and key security sites for the new camp. She managed the sensitivities that existed within the multinational staff of the Force Engineering Office, which was undermanned and ill-equipped to carry out the under-resourced relocation programme. In this environment she maintained the delivery of key individual projects, such as the relocated MFO Command and Control function.

Captain Gofton showed determination and moral courage in managing an, at times, resistant organisational culture in order to progress the relocation programme.

Related media statements:

5 January 2018 - New Year's Honours recognise meritorious service

5 June 2017 - NZDF personnel named in Queen's Birthday Honours List 2017

31 December 2016 - Service as Soldier and Musician Recognised in New Year Honours

Further information:

The full Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2018, with citations for each recipient, is published on the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet's website.

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Update on the Long Service Awards Review

5 June 2018

Changes to the eligibility rules for the existing ten New Zealand military long service awards are expected to be announced by the end of 2018, once the governing Royal Warrants and accompanying regulations are in place.

As advised on 25 August 2015, the existing long service awards will remain, but the entitlement criteria will allow all eligible New Zealand military service to be counted. For example, service will be able to be accumulated rather than continuous (as is currently required for some awards). This will deliver a fairer system while maintaining the standing of the long service awards.

The appropriate long service award issued will reflect the majority of each recipient’s service. Persons who already have a long service award will continue to wear the award they have. There will be no swapping of awards.

Current serving military personnel will not need to apply for their long service entitlement to be assessed under the new rules. They will be automatically assessed via the data in their SAP HCM records. Please note that given the number of eligible personnel it may take around 12 to 18 months after the announcement to confirm and issue the medal entitlement for every current serving military Service person.

Applications from eligible ex-Service persons will be called for in the first half of 2019, once a project team of additional staff has been hired and trained.

Full information on the changes will be released at the time of the formal announcement.

Also see:

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New Year's Honours recognise meritorious service

5 January 2018

Two NZDF personnel have had their meritorious service recognised in the New Year's Honours List 2018. Dr John Kay of the Defence Technology Agency has been appointed as a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) and Squadron Leader Rhys Evans has been awarded the New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration (DSD).

The New Zealand Order of Merit recognises those who, in any field of endeavour, have rendered meritorious service to the Crown and the nation, or who have become distinguished by their eminence, talents, contributions or other merits.

The New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration (DSD) recognises distinguished military service by regular, territorial and reserve members of the New Zealand Defence Force, including command and leadership and service in an operational environment, or in support of operations.

The Citations for the Awards

Appointed as a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM):

Dr John Stephen Kay

For services to the New Zealand Defence Force

Dr John Kay has been employed as a scientist by the Defence Technology Agency and its predecessors for 37 years.

Dr Kay’s expertise covers the fields of underwater acoustics, ship signatures above and below water, ship defensive capabilities, air surveillance and most recently, space systems. He has worked in the international defence science community, leading New Zealand’s participation in international defence science research collaboration in areas including maritime, electronic warfare and sensor systems. He was selected in 2009 to lead New Zealand’s participation into a multilateral “Imagery Measurements and Signatures Research and Development Program”. He has successfully led New Zealand’s participation in this programme as well as leading a programme of research and development drawing on the efforts of many scientists, domestically and internationally. Due to the cutting-edge nature and rapid progression of the work he has led, he has also worked with policy leaders in other government agencies to ensure correct regulatory frameworks are in place. Dr Kay has become an internationally recognised leader in defence science and technology and most recently has made significant contributions in areas of space-based strategic intelligence systems.

To receive the New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration (DSD):

Squadron Leader Rhys Lloyd Evans, RNZAF

For services to the New Zealand Defence Force

Squadron Leader Rhys Evans was appointed Commander of the initial deployment of a C-130 Task Unit to the Middle East for the period June to September 2016.

The New Zealand contingent formed part of an integrated Australian Defence Force Air Mobility Task Group supporting coalition forces in the area. This was the first long-term deployment since 2003 of a C-130 Hercules transport aircraft, its crew and support team. In light of this the newly promoted Squadron Leader Evans led an intensive pre-deployment preparation regime to close gaps in experience and knowledge to facilitate a deployment of this magnitude. Further training and preparation followed on arrival in theatre with the aim of ensuring that effective flight operations could be conducted over both Iraq and Afghanistan. Under his leadership the detachment completed 98 percent of their assigned aircraft missions, an extremely high success rate for the harsh environment in which they were operating. The work output and trust he and his team generated within the coalition enabled the Australian Defence Force to withdraw one of their C-130 aircraft earlier than scheduled. Squadron Leader Evans’ leadership and achievement as a relatively junior officer in a key operational appointment was recognised by his coalition colleagues and brought credit to the New Zealand Defence Force.

Related media statements:

5 June 2017 - NZDF personnel named in Queen's Birthday Honours List 2017

31 December 2016 - Service as Soldier and Musician Recognised in New Year Honours

Further information:

The full New Year's Honours List 2018, with citations for each recipient, is published on the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet's website.

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Update on the Long Service Awards Review

5 January 2018

Changes to the eligibility rules for the existing ten New Zealand military long service awards are expected to be announced in the middle of 2018, once the governing Royal Warrants and accompanying regulations are in place.

As advised on 25 August 2015, the existing long service awards will remain, but the entitlement criteria will allow all eligible New Zealand military service to be counted. For example, service will be able to be accumulated rather than continuous (as is currently required for some awards). This will deliver a fairer system while maintaining the standing of the long service awards.

The appropriate long service award issued will reflect the majority of each recipient’s service. Persons who already have a long service award will continue to wear the award they have. There will be no swapping of awards.

Current serving military personnel will not need to apply for their long service entitlement to be assessed under the new rules. They will be automatically assessed via the data in their SAP HCM records. Please note that given the number of eligible personnel it may take around 12 to 18 months after the announcement to confirm and issue the medal entitlement for every current serving military Service person.

Applications from eligible ex-Service persons will be called for in the second half of 2018, once a project team of additional staff has been hired and trained.

Full information on the changes will be released at the time of the formal announcement.

Also see:

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Defence Human Resources, Headquarters New Zealand Defence Force has responsibility for all medals issues relating to current or past service in the New Zealand Armed Forces. The staff at NZDF Personnel Archives and Medals conduct research into all claims for medallic recognition, whether for an individual's service or for service in areas of operation where no current medallic recognition exists.

The following medal eligibility review is currently under consideration by the Government:

Long Service Awards Review

Update 4 January 2019: Changes to the eligibility rules for the existing ten New Zealand military long service awards are expected to be announced in the first half of 2019, once the governing Royal Warrants and accompanying regulations are in place.

As advised on 25 August 2015, the existing long service awards will remain, but the entitlement criteria will allow all eligible New Zealand military service to be counted. For example, service will be able to be accumulated rather than continuous (as is currently required for some awards). This will deliver a fairer system while maintaining the standing of the long service awards.

The appropriate long service award issued will reflect the majority of each recipient’s service. Persons who already have a long service award will continue to wear the award they have. There will be no swapping of awards.

Current serving military personnel will not need to apply for their long service entitlement to be assessed under the new rules. They will be automatically assessed via the data in their SAP HCM records. Please note that given the number of eligible personnel it may take around 12 to 18 months after the announcement to confirm and issue the medal entitlement for every current serving military Service person.

Applications from eligible ex-Service persons will be called for in 2019, once a project team of additional staff has been hired and trained.

Full information on the changes will be released at the time of the formal announcement.

 

Also see:

Completed review

Review of medals for military service in South-East Asia 1950 to 2011

13 March 2014 - The Medallic Recognition Joint Working Group: Service in South-East Asia 1950-2011 - Announcement of the decisions on the recommendations in the Final Report

20 December 2013 - Update on the South-East Asia 1950-2011 Review

23 September 2013 - Update on the South-East Asia 1950-2011 Review

30 May 2013 - Update on the South-East Asia 1950-2011 Review

4 March 2013 - Update on the South-East Asia 1950-2011 Review

12 July 2011 - Consultation begins on medals for military service in South-East Asia 1950 to 2011

Update 24 August 2011: Submissions have now closed.

The Government announced on 13 March 2014 its decisions on the recommendations from the Joint Working Group.

 

 This page was last reviewed 26 April, 2019 and is current.