Wednesday, September 10, 2014


Clearly I have an interest in how our various parties see our veterans.   To that end I thought it would be useful to compare party policies.    I am not interested in rhetoric such as 'we owe our veterans a debt of gratitude etc' ... talk is cheap.    I will confine this to commenting on specific proposals contained in the respective party manifestos.

National Party ....  #1 Maintain the Veteran’s Pension at 66 per cent of the average wage, meaning payments increase faster than inflation over time.   #2  Increase the travel grant to help veterans with the cost of attending a commemoration associated with their service from $2000 to $2500.   Comment .... #1 is a given. #2 overdue but welcomed.

Labour Party .... #1  That all veterans entitled to superannuation and who have served in an overseas deployment where they were at risk be eligible for the Veteran's Pension. Comment .... Already legislated for with the passing of the Veterans Support Act.

NZ Greens ....  Rhetoric.   No specific proposals.

NZ First .... #1   Ensure that all veterans who meet the eligibility criteria receive the Veteran’s Pension.  #2   Ensure the Veteran's Pension maintain relativity PLUS an additional 10 per cent in recognition of their sacrifice.  #3   Renew full annual government funding to RSA support services to help veterans gain access to health and social services.   #4   Increase the radiation related health conditions listed on the Veteran’s Affairs Presumptive List, to include all cancers.   Comment .... #1  Already legislated for with the passing of the Veterans Support Act.  #2  Not sure if this is in addition to the 5% already paid or inclusive of.   #3   Already in place. This year the Government gave RNZRSA $150,000.   #4   I could support this.

Conservatives .... No mention.

ACT .... No mention.

Maori Party .... No mention.

United Future .... No mention.

Mana Party .... No mention.

Internet Party ....  No mention.

It is a sad commentary that six parties contesting the election do not think our veterans important enough to rate a policy mention.


Nick K said...

I've been to about 8 election meetings now as a candidate where the groups that want handouts increase tenfold at each meeting. And I know what your response will be: "If you don't value war veterans then who can you value"?

I don't think every party should have a policy for everything. In fact I am adamant they shouldn't. It's a supply issue anyway and so parties like Act will always support the Nats proposals.

The Veteran said...

Nick ... yes and no. On ANZAC Day all and sundry push themselves forward to say nice things about our veterans ... and when pedal hits the metal ... nowt.

But I do find it fascinating the two parties are promising something that has already been enacted. Again, it indicates a certain lack of respect/interest ... call it what you will.

Tinman said...

Veteran, I agree with Nick K.

Minor parties, particularly rw minor parties must push a policy, maybe two at most.

How hard did veterans' organisations lobby minor parties to make their issues one of those few?

Are they more important than less taxes?

Is anything?

Of course I refer to rw parties only, evidence suggests lw minor parties can have policies on anything they want, the major lw parties will simply ignore them when they hold the treasury.

I suggest the time for Veterans to act is not at the polling booth or on the campaign trail but, very publicly on ANZAC day.

We will remember, we won't ever forget.