New Defence Force medal announced

  • Wayne Mapp

The New Zealand Defence Service Medal announced by the Prime Minister today closes a long-standing gap in medallic recognition of military service, Defence Minister Wayne Mapp says.

"Military service has unique requirements - a commitment to serving the Crown, being liable for operational service, and being subject to military discipline and the demands and constraints of the military lifestyle.

"The new medal recognises 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, and those who did compulsory military training or national military service, will qualify.

"The Government places high value on non-operational service. Those service people were ready and willing to serve on operations and provided essential support to those who did," the Minister said.

"It is estimated that there are more than 160,000 people eligible for the medal. Of those people, a large number have not been entitled to any medallic recognition to date. They served their country loyally and well in a wide range of roles and contexts, but not on operations, and they do not therefore qualify for campaign medals.

 "In creating the New Zealand Defence Service Medal the Government has delivered on a National Party campaign commitment to appropriately recognise a large group of New Zealanders who have stood ready to put their lives on the line for their country."

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