From the Head of Veterans' Affairs—Autumn 2018
Tēnā koutou katoa
Here at Veterans’ Affairs, we are looking forward to 2018. One of our priorities this year is to continue to improve our service to you. I’m proud of the work my team has lined up for the next 12 months. As I mentioned in my message at the end of last year, we are not where we want to be yet.
This year we are looking at increasing the number of services available under the Veterans’ Independence Programme. You will also see a significant improvement in the way we communicate with you through letters and forms, as well as introducing new ways to communicate and engage with you.
In the coming months we will conduct our annual client survey. This year will see us partner with an independent provider. If you receive a survey, I encourage you to complete it. Your feedback is critical to ensuring we are delivering services and support that meet your—and your fellow veterans’—needs.
As I write this message, I reflect on the passing of the last surviving officer of the 28th Māori Battalion. Alfred “Bunty” Preece died at his home on the Chatham Islands on Friday 3 March with his whānau by his side. Bunty was a respected member of his community, and he served his nation both abroad in times of conflict, and at home in peace.
With April approaching, thoughts turn towards Anzac Day. Throughout the country and abroad people are preparing for the commemorations—colleagues in the New Zealand Defence Force, friends in Australia and Turkey, and RSAs nationwide. It is as important as ever that we take time to reflect on the courage, commitment and comradeship of those who have fought in New Zealand’s best interests.
Ka maumahara tonu tātou ki a rātou
We will remember them