Veterans across the country are hoping that this week will see the Prime Minister David Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg make their decision on the institution of the UK National Defence Medal
Coinciding with this decision is the inaugural presentation in Parliament of the New Zealand Defence Service Medal.
Chairman of the UK National Defence Medal campaign, Tony Morland said, “This medal recognises the contribution service personnel have made to the safety, security, peace and freedom that all New Zealanders enjoy today,”
About 30 recipients will receive their medals from Minister of Veterans’ Affairs Judith Collins and Defence Minister Wayne Mapp.
The new medal is awarded for non-operational military service in the Defence Force by New Zealanders. Those who have served in the military for more than three years since World War Two; those who did compulsory military training or national service, will also qualify as will Reserve personnel whose service comes on top of their normal job.
Ms Collins said.
“Our service veterans hold a special status in our society. This Government is committed to honouring those veterans who served their country”.
Dr Mapp said, “Many thousands of New Zealanders have met the demanding requirements of military service. They have served their country and community loyally and well, including responding to disasters such as the Christchurch earthquakes.” He went on to say, “Up to now there has been no recognition of this service, on which the Government places high value. This medal remedies that. It delivers on the National Party’s campaign commitment to recognise those people.”
Mr Clegg the Leader of the Liberal Democrats and the Armed Forces Minister Nick Harvey MP have previously given their unqualified support for the UK National Defence Medal.