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Medallic Recognition Joint Working Group: Service in South-East Asia 1950-2011 FAQs

 

Minister of Defence's announcement of the Government's decisions on the recommendations in the final report of the Medallic Recognition Joint Working Group: Service in South-East Asia 1950-2011

 

Medallic Recognition Joint Working Group: Service in South-East Asia 1950-2011

13 March 2014

The Government agrees with the Medallic Recognition Joint Working Group’s report that military personnel who served in South-East Asia have been appropriately recognised and additional medallic recognition is not justified.

“I know today’s decision will be disappointing for the former service men and women who have petitioned for additional medallic recognition,” says Dr Coleman.

“I would like to thank those who made submissions, and also the Joint Working Group who conducted a comprehensive review of the issue.

“The Joint Working Group came to the unanimous conclusion that the valuable contribution made by service men and women in South-East Asia has already been appropriately recognised.

“The Government agrees with the Joint Working Group’s finding that the New Zealand Defence Service Medal is the appropriate medallic recognition for personnel who served throughout the world in a range of deployments that do not meet the criteria for operational service. Nearly all military personnel who served in South-East Asia from 1950 are eligible for this medal.”

The Medallic Recognition Joint Working Group: Service in South-East Asia 1950-2011 received 68 submissions. The Joint Working Group included representatives from the Royal New Zealand Returned and Services Association, Veterans' Affairs New Zealand, and the NZ Defence Force.

The Joint Working Group’s report can be downloaded in pdf format from the South-East Asia Review page of the NZDF Medals website - http://medals.nzdf.mil.nz/seasia/about.html

FAQs about the 13 March 2014 announcement

Where can I get a copy of the Joint Working Group’s report?

The report can be viewed and downloaded in pdf format from the South-East Asia Review page of the NZDF Medals website - http://medals.nzdf.mil.nz/seasia/about.html

Copies of the report will also be available at your local Returned and Services Association Club or Branch.

Why was this review carried out?

Since 2001, there have been submissions from hundreds of ex-Service personnel who consider that their service in South-East Asia from 1950 to 2011 has not received appropriate medallic recognition. Most of these submissions sought recognition for service not recognised through the New Zealand Operational Service Medal (NZOSM) instituted in 2002 or a campaign medal.

Why was 1950 the start date for the review?

On 20 September 1949, the first personnel of 41 Squadron RNZAF began their deployment to the Far East Air Force based at RAF Changi, Singapore. The period 1949-1950 was effectively the start of New Zealand's strategic military commitment to South-East Asia, though the size of the New Zealand forces stationed in South-East Asia would remain small until 1955.

(For more information on New Zealand's strategic military commitment to South-East Asia see Christopher Pugsley's 2003 book From Emergency to Confrontation: The New Zealand Armed Forces in Malaya and Borneo, 1949-1966.)

Who carried out the review?

The Medallic Recognition Joint Working Group (JWG) was established with an independent chair and two representatives each from the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF), the Royal New Zealand Returned and Services Association (RNZRSA), and Veterans’ Affairs New Zealand, with observers from the Honours Unit and the New Zealand Police. This group ensured that all interested persons and groups had the opportunity to comment.

How did the JWG go about the task?

From Tuesday 12 July 2011 to Tuesday 23 August 2011 the JWG undertook public consultation on medallic recognition for military service in South-East Asia between 1950 and 2011, to ensure that ex-Service personnel and currently serving personnel had the opportunity to make written submissions on the subject of medallic recognition for military service in South-East Asia.

Who could make a submission?

Any interested persons or organisations could make a written submission.

How many submissions were received?

There were 68 submissions, representing a wide range of military units and periods of service.

What happened next?

The JWG considered the submissions made. It submitted an interim report to the Minister of Defence in November 2011. The JWG then undertook further archival research and finalised its report and recommendations. It presented its final report in December 2013.

Did the review also consider War Pension eligibility?

No. It did not consider eligibility for entitlements under the War Pensions Act 1954.

How does this review link to the survey in 2009 on the NZ Defence Service Medal (NZDSM)?

The two projects are separate. However, the same JWG which made recommendations to the Government on the NZDSM (instituted in April 2011) has prepared this report.

What recognition of service is available to personnel who served in South-East Asia between 1950 and 2011 if they do not qualify for a campaign medal or the NZOSM?

Nearly all such personnel are eligible for the NZDSM for their three years’ military service and/or completion of their initial military engagement. This is the appropriate medallic recognition for all Service personnel who served New Zealand loyally in many countries and under a wide range of conditions which do not meet the criteria for operational service.

Why not institute a clasp for the NZDSM recognising this service, and possibly service in other locations?

The JWG recommended, and (in 2010) the Minister of Defence agreed that clasps to the NZDSM should differentiate only the broad type of service rendered, i.e. Regular Force, Territorial Forces, Compulsory Military Training and National Service.

I want to ask some questions. Who do I send my questions to?

Questions on the South-East Asia Review can be:

The Medals Policy Cell

Defence Personnel Executive

Headquarters New Zealand Defence Force

Private Bag 39997

WELLINGTON 5045

FAQs - South-East Asia 1950-2011 Review

Update 20 December 2013

The Medallic Recognition Joint Working Group received 68 submissions on service in South-East Asia. After considering the submissions, the Joint Working Group submitted an interim report to the Minister of Defence in November 2011.

The Joint Working Group then undertook further archival research and finalised its report and recommendations. The Joint Working Group presented its final report in December 2013.

The Government will consider the report in 2014.

The Government's decisions on the recommendations from the Joint Working Group will be widely publicised, including in the RSA Review and on the Breaking News page of the NZDF Medals website.

Update 24 August 2011

Submissions have now closed.

What happened?

From Tuesday 12 July 2011 to Tuesday 23 August 2011 public consultation was undertaken on medallic recognition for military service in South-East Asia between 1950 and 2011.

Who could make a submission?

Any interested persons or organisations could make a written submission.

How were submissions made?

1. Please carefully read the three documents which can be downloaded from the South-East Asia review page of our website.

2. Then submissions (with supporting evidence and a completed Checklist for Submissions) were e-mailed to medals.admp@nzdf.mil.nz ; or posted to:

Medallic Recognition Joint Working Group
c/- Deputy Director Medals Policy
Defence Personnel Executive
Headquarters New Zealand Defence Force
Private Bag 39997
WELLINGTON 5045

What was the closing date for submissions?

The closing date for submissions was Tuesday 23 August 2011.

How many submissions were received?

68 submissions were received.

What happened after the Consultation closed? (Updated 20 December 2013)

The JWG considered the submissions made. They submitted an interim report to the Minister of Defence in November 2011.

The JWG then undertook further archival research and finalised its report and recommendations. The Joint Working Group presented its final report in December 2013.

The Government will consider the report in 2014.

The Government's decisions on the recommendations from the Joint Working Group will be widely publicised, including in the RSA Review and on the Breaking News page of the NZDF Medals website.

Why were people asked for their Input?

The JWG (Joint Working Group) has been directed by the Government to ensure that ex-Service personnel and currently serving personnel have the opportunity to make written submissions on the subject of medallic recognition for military service in South-East Asia.

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 New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF), Royal New Zealand Returned and Services Association (RNZRSA), Veterans’ Affairs New Zealand and an observer from the Honours Unit and the New Zealand Police. This Group aims to ensure that all interested persons and groups have the opportunity to comment on the South-East Asia review.

I served in the Army in Singapore In the 1970s. Will I get a medal as a result of this review?

That will be decided by the Government after they receive the Recommendations from the JWG.

Why is 1950 the start date for the review?

On 20 September 1949, the first personnel of 41 Squadron, RNZAF, began their deployment to the Far East Air Force based at RAF Changi, Singapore. The period 1949/1950 was effectively the start of New Zealand's strategic military commitment to South-East Asia, though the size of the New Zealand forces stationed in South-East Asia would remain small until 1955.

For more information on New Zealand's strategic military commitment to South-East Asia see Christopher Pugsley's book From Emergency to Confrontation: The New Zealand Armed Forces in Malaya and Borneo, 1949-1966. (Published in 2003).

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

Yes. All ex-service personnel’ organisations and other interested organisations or individuals, had the opportunity to make a written submission.

Will The Review consider War Pension eligibility too?

No.  This review will not consider eligibility for entitlements under the War Pensions Act 1954.

How does this review link to the survey in 2009 on the NZ Defence Service Medal?

The two projects are separate.  Though the same JWG which made recommendations to the Government on the New Zealand Defence Service Medal (instituted in April 2011) is undertaking the public consultation on South-East Asia and will make recommendations to the Government.

 

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