Chat with Pat—Summer 2018
Pat Povey is a familiar face—or voice—to many veterans and their whānau. VA News sat down with Pat in our new regular series 'Chat with Pat'.
VA News: It’s nearly the end of the year Pat. What are your thoughts looking back on 2018?
Pat: It’s been a really busy year. We’ve seen a significant increase in the number of services we’re putting in place for our veterans, especially through the Veterans’ Independence Programme. I talked last time about the expansion of some services, like those with Chemwash, and now we’re working on developing new services for next year.
We’ve also been out meeting face-to-face with the veteran community more than ever before—both in New Zealand and Australia. I know veterans and whānau have found this positive, and we’ve found it really valuable in gaining further insight into the needs of our veterans and those that support them.
VA News: Turning to next year, what are you looking forward to?
Pat: That’s a difficult question. With mixed emotions, I would say my retirement in March next year.
VA News: So, this is our last ‘Chat with Pat’?
Pat: Yes, I suppose it is. I first started at Veterans’ Affairs in 2002, and there have been so many changes since then. Recognition for our veterans has always been at the heart of what we do, and we’re now able to provide a really wide range of support.
I have met so many wonderful people over the years, and want to thank them for the contribution and sacrifice they’ve made for our country. With many fond memories, it’ll be sad to leave.
VA News: It’ll be sad to see you go. Before you do though, what’s your tip for this edition of VA News?
Pat: Just a reminder to veterans that if you’re applying to have a condition accepted as service-related, it’s really important to have a diagnosis on your application form. Your GP can help you with this. It will support your claim, and help us make a decision quicker.
VA News: Great tip, thanks Pat. Any final thoughts for our readers?
Pat: With the festive season nearly upon us, I would like to wish everyone all the very best for a safe and happy Christmas and New Year. Be kind, look after each other, and be well.