Tuesday, December 18, 2018


Dear old Snowflake has been seized with what constitutes political correctness and what doesn't.   So he can try this for size.

A couple of days ago I met up with an old acquaintance of mine, Leith Comer, in the Koru Lounge at Auckland Airport.   I was privileged to command Leith when he was a young subaltern in Singapore.   He went on to complete a distinguished career in the military and latterly as the Chief Executive of Te Puni Kokiri.     Leith has just been appointed as Chair of the Veterans Advisory Board.

He told me he had been directed by his Minister to review the definition of what constitutes a 'Veteran' with the meme that it should be expanded to include all those who have ever served in the military in whatever capacity.   What arrant nonsense ... clearly designed to appease the Snowflakes of the world who want to dumb down everything to the lowest common denominator.

The word 'Veteran' is properly defined in the Veterans' Support Act as "a member of the armed forces who took part in qualifying operational service at the direction of the New Zealand Government" ...  you take away the operational service bit and you're left with????????

Those members of the armed service with operational service deserve much better than this and what a feekin waste of the VAB's time and energy.    They could do much better probing the rationale behind the little known fact that the annual general adjustment to  the War Disablement Pensions is discounted by any movement in the CPI relating to the tobacco excise tax. 


Noel said...

Easy take Veteran out of the Support Act but retain the qualifying terminology.
It is possible that there is a veteran of lengthy military service who through no fault of their own never saw "qualifying operational service?"

Gerald said...

Don't be so precious Veteran

FEDERAL DEFINITION: under Federal Law a VETERAN is any person, who served honorably on active duty in the armed forces of the United States

Definition of a Veteran. Any former member of the Canadian Armed Forces who successfully underwent basic training and is honorably released.

A Veteran of the British Armed Forces is defined by the Government as any person of any age who has served in the Armed Forces

I could go on but hey your pension remains protect by the qualifier. No need to change it.

pdm said...

Vet - I did 4 years school cadets 1960-63 inclusive attaining the rank of Sergeant. Will I be a Veteran under the new definition?

BTW Are you sure the Snowflake that haunts this blog is male? Some of the contributions are of a very feminist nature from my interpretations.

Anonymous said...

The Veteran on his favourite pastime again....name dropping.

David said...

Veeran, you may well disapprove, and that is your right, but you have failed to make the case that this is "political correctness". Political correctness is a term used by the right that means "I don't like it, but I cannot explain why I don't like it".

David said...

BTW Are you sure the Snowflake that haunts this blog is male? Some of the contributions are of a very feminist nature from my interpretations.

What has gender got to do with feminism? I am a male and I am a feminist.

What does it matter what gender snowflake is? Oh, I get it - you'd give more credence to snowflake's posts if a man, less if a woman. Sure hope you don't have any daughters!

The Veteran said...

Gerald ... if being precious means sticking up for the Veteran community then I plead guilty. For the record I don't care a fig about other jurisdictions ... this is New Zealand. The VSA recognises veterans for what they are. You undermine that status by changing the definition of what constitutes a veteran in order to appease the sensitivities of the Snowflakes of this world and the next thing you will find is agitation by this new tranche of 'veterans' that they be afforded the range of benefits (in part or in whole) earned by real veterans.

What's wrong with that? ... simple. VANZ has been underfunded for years by successive governments and I see no evidence of great change in the offing. This move will, over time, inevitably dilute the funding available for real veterans. That is something to be resisted.

Bottom line ... ask yourself ... is this the most pressing problem faced by the Veteran community? If your answer is 'No' then you are entitled to ask 'why then'.

George said...

Face it. Nowadays there are so few who qualify as veterans, even Returned Servicemen are almost non existent..

Gerald said...

Whoa! You were vocal for it's inclusion into NZDEF. The claims waiting times are no different today from what they were before the transition. Unless you have a condition listed in the Conclusively Presumed list of no scientific validity.

Hope the Aussies learn from the New Zealand experience and don't take the DVA which is currently a stand alone and make it a branch of the ADF.

Their current feasibility study is in the millions.

Johno said...

Operational doesn't necessarily mean presence in a shooting war does it?

Do postings to humanitarian, rebuilding, disaster relief and peace keeping roles meet the current definition of "veteran"?

Anonymous said...

Whoever is tasked with this defining of 'veteran'could add [Rear Echelon] to those that didn't see the sharp end. Restrict the shortened 'Veteran' to those that did and forbid those that didn't. Problem solved.

A bit like David's multiple and complex identifications. Best summarised as 'Mess'.


The Veteran said...

Johno ... operational service is defined in s9 of the Act. Short answer ... some of the deployments you mention could be deemed operational deployments.

Gerald ... my support for VANZ to be included in the NZDF was twofold based on (1) the supposed economies of scale and (2) that any outcomes could have hardly been worse. (1) remains valid to a point while (2) is a very much moot. VANZ remains under-resourced while the ritualistic outpouring of commitment to the welfare of veteran by the NZDF remains high on rhetoric and low on delivery/result. I understand the number of 'veterans' being looked after by VANZ is around 10,000 while I saw somewhere that RNZR&SA estimates there are another 40,000 entitled to that appellation. No-one knows for sure since that question was deleted from the census some decades ago and, despite agitation to have it re-included, Stats NZ have remained steadfastly opposed to it.

pdm said...

David said - `What has gender got to do with feminism? I am a male and I am a feminist.'

David are you David Cunliffe and do you want to aplogise on this site for being a man'.

Lord Egbut Nobacon said...

Strange old world where an ambulance para medic who sees death and trauma on an industrial scale is not a veteran or a firefighter who may put his life at risk several times in his career is also not worthy of the title but somebody who spends his military career in a Linton Q store is.

I believe the terms veteran and combat veteran might solve the problem. After all..

From Wiki.....
"A veteran (from Latin vetus, meaning "old")[1] is a person who has had long service or experience in a particular occupation or field.[2] A military veteran is a person who has served and is no longer serving in the armed forces. Those veterans that have had direct exposure to acts of military conflict may also be referred to as war veterans (although not all military conflicts, or areas in which armed combat takes place, are necessarily referred to as wars). A combat veteran is a person who has fought in combat during a war or a skirmish against a declared enemy and may still be serving in the military."

Noel said...

"veteran or combat veteran"
That would be a "veteran" or a "veteran with qualifying operational service"?

Gerald said...

Going to throw in your RSA membership?

Noel said...

"Bottom line ... ask yourself ... is this the most pressing problem faced by the Veteran community? "

I reckon there are two more pressing problems than this one.

Action on the Patterson Review recommendations which were tabled 6 months ago.

Removal of the Conclusively Presumed List. The conditions covered in the List are also covered by the RMA Sops but the claim's process differs and List conditions are advantaged.

Either make the RMA Sops "boots on the ground" or removed the list. It's also insulting to the children now the NAS has admitted it got it wrong and they should never have been elevated contrary to the science.

The Veteran said...

Why the need to argue over the definition ... just how does that advance 'our' cause?

Gerald ... what m'ship?

Noel ... point well made.

Lord Egbut Nobacon said...

Might be a step to far Noel. The Scientific community realised they got it badly wrong about the bogeyman Agent Orange but after 40 years of being told that it was responsible for everything from every cancer known to man down to ingrown toenails the public aren't ready for it......or will the new generations actually care?

My experience is that if you tell a veterans child that their disability is random and not AO related they get really upset...it is badge of honour to them and marks them out from the "ordinary" disabilities.

The National Academy of Sciences should never have been involved, different panels of scientists ranging from engineers to astronomers without a toxicologist in sight.

Still worth a read if you have an interest in the subject.


Noel said...

The children were only included after the negotiations had settled on a "boots on the ground" for a limited number of Veterans conditions. Despite all the reasons for their inclusion published at the time the most obvious was a possible backlash of opinion if only Veterans benefited.
That's how ,again a small number,of children's conditions against scientific reasoning were elevated on the Matrix to the same level as Veterans.

That's history. What is on going is some conditions are processed differently to otbers. I can understand why the negotiator balked at having to prove 1000hrs of TCCD exposure but none the less it hasn't produced a level playing field.

Lord Egbut Nobacon said...

TCDD ...make the same mistake myself at times Noel.

2,3,7,8- tetrachlorodibenzo para dioxin

Noel said...

Although the NAS IOM has been disbanded and replaced the new identity has been task to explore paternal exposure to Tactical Herbicides.
I'm guessing the answer will be unlikely.

I see VANZ has called for expressions of interested to explore the Intergenerational Effects of Vietnam service.
If it restricted to epidemiology as per the Australian study it will be a waste of time.

But if they accept the premise that the pilot study may have indicated possible increased mutagencity among Vietnam Veterans and investigate from an epigenetic perspective the results will be interesting.

Lord Egbut Nobacon said...

Well as the three components that make up Agent Orange are now proved to be neither mutagenic or genotoxic what are they going to blame it on?........the dreaded eggs perhaps. Or maybe they have twigged that cigarette smoke is mutagenic and we all smoked like chuffers and were given smokes in the rations.