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The operation of the Veterans’ Support Act 2014 review has been kick-started with the release of a discussion document, Minister for Veterans’ Affairs David Bennett says.

 The document, which asks people how they think the Veterans’ Support Act 2014 is working, has been released as part of the consultation process of the Review.   “This legislation has been is a central part of a $60 million package for Veterans,” Mr Bennett says.   “We need to see how the operation of the Act could be improved and what needs to be changed.   “It’s important that we get it right when we are investing in those who fought for the freedoms New Zealand experiences, so we can ensure Veterans’ have the services they deserve.   “I encourage everyone who has an interest to take this opportunity to have their say,” Mr Bennett says.   The Review is a legal requirement for the Chief of the New Zealand Defence Force under the Veterans’ Support Act 2014 and is being independently led by Professor Ron Paterson.  The Review is expected to be completed, and a report provided, by the end of 2017.   “I have released this discussion document early in the Review process, to give people as much time as possible to think about how the Veterans’ Support Act is working for them”, Professor Paterson says.   Submissions on the discussion document are due by 15 September 2017.  Consultation meetings will be held in Whāngārei, Auckland, Tauranga, Gisborne, Napier, Palmerston North, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin and Invercargill in August and September.  Information about the independent review, consultation process and discussion document can be found on the New Zealand Defence Force website www.nzdf.mil.nz/corporate-documents/vsa   “I’m looking forward to meeting as many veterans and their families as possible at the consultation meetings. They have served our country and the Veterans’ Support Act is there to provide the support and rehabilitation they need as a result of their service,” Professor Paterson says.   “We don’t often get the opportunity, so soon after new legislation comes into effect, to independently review how it is working,” Professor Paterson says.

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