Veteran Rehabilitation Strategy 2018 – 2021

Minister for Veterans Ron Mark will tonight launch New Zealand’s first ever over-arching strategy for rehabilitating veterans who have been injured or become ill through their service to their country.

The strategy has been developed by Veterans’ Affairs in consultation with veteran support groups, government departments, and non-government agencies.

"We’re taking a different approach from what’s gone before,“ says Ron Mark.

“The emphasis is on helping people to recover, rather than just marking their service with pensions.

“The strategy considers health in its widest sense, to provide whatever is most needed to get veterans back to their best – physical, psychological, social or vocational rehabilitation.

“The new strategy is flexible, and  aims to empower Veterans’ Affairs to work in partnership with others in the community to ensure our veterans are best supported along the way to the best possible outcomes,” says Ron Mark.

The strategy focuses on the needs and views of veterans, when deciding what rehabilitation is likely to work best for them.

It also recognises the need to take into account the health and wellbeing of a veteran’s support network - their family or wider whanau – as well as the veterans themselves.

Those whose health has been affected by their service to New Zealand are being offered more than basic physical rehabilitation.

“Post-traumatic stress injuries might not be as visible as physical injuries, but they’re very real and very disabling,” says Ron Mark.

The new strategy, and its associated work plan for the next two years, will be available from later this week on the Veterans Affairs website at www.veteransaffairs.mil.nz/rehabilitation-strategy