Andrew Williams, in Committee, to move the following amendments:
After clause 15E(3) (page 31, after line 14), insert:
(4) In the case of doubt arising from missing or insufficient New Zealand Defence Force medical records as to whether a veteran suffered injury, illness, or death on operational service, the injury, illness, or death is presumed to have occurred while the veteran was performing qualifying operational service.
In clause 148(1)(b), replace “superannuation; and” (page 105, line 7) with “superannuation.”
In clause 148(1), delete paragraph (c) (page 105, lines 8 to 18).
In clause 156(1), replace
“must be equal to” (page 111, line 8) with
“must exceed by 10%”.
In clause 157(3), after
“the relationship rate, the single living alone rate, and the single sharing accommodation rate” (page 112, after line 16), insert
“, as adjusted by section 156(1),”.
This Supplementary Order Paper amends clause 15E of the Bill to ensure that veterans receive the benefit of the doubt regarding disability matters where there are missing or insufficient New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) medical records. The NZDF is on record as having conceded that medical records have not been maintained adequately, and has stated that veterans will not be disadvantaged as a result of any errors by NZDF with such records. Veterans continue to experience difficulty with pension and disability claims, and the burden of proof should not be placed on them as a result of their operational service to New Zealand.
The Supplementary Order Paper also amends clause 148 to provide that all military veterans who have served on an overseas operational deployment for the NZDF be eligible for a veteran’s pension if they meet the criteria for New Zealand Superannuation. The additional benefits of a veterans’ pension are relatively minor, but the sentiment and recognition is vitally important to all those affected by this.
Finally this Supplementary Order Paper amends clauses 156 and 157 to provide that all veterans be properly recognised for their special contribution to New Zealand's security and that their pensions maintain relativity to New Zealand Superannuation, plus an additional amount of 10% in recognition of their sacrifice.