This advice is presented here in good faith. For matters concerning pensions and formal advice from the officials at Veterans' Affairs, you should call 0800 4838372. Do not hesitate to call them - they are friendly and there to help veterans and their families. They can help with all manner of problems including medical.
To obtain military records for a deceased person or for yourself, you will need to contact Personnel Archives with as much information as you can. All requests must be in writing. If the Service Personal File has no notification of death, or the death occurred in the last twenty years you must provide reasonable proof, such as a newspaper death notice, photo of the gravestone, copy of a death certificate, or funeral sheet before information can be released from the service personal file.
There is no charge for requesting your own file and/or one deceased file within the period 1 July - 30 June, but more files (or repeated requests) cost $28 per file. Make crossed cheques payable to New Zealand Defence Force (no credit cards or overseas currency). Write to:
There are many people with the same name so you will need to provide as much of the following information as you can:
To make further enquiries, you can phone the personnel archives Mon - Fri 8am to 4pm. The phone numbers are: Personnel Archives A-L (04) 527 5273, Personnel Archives L-Z (04) 527 5274.
If you want the file for someone who is still alive, you will need to have all the above information PLUS their written permission, and there may be additional charges.
Veterans Lapel Badge
New Zealand J Force veterans are among those eligible to wear a new lapel badge issued by the NZ Government. To get it, write to
Veterans' Affairs New Zealand
New J Force Book
'The Jayforce Experience' by Harold Stone is something all of us will want on our shelves. It costs $30 and can be ordered from Harold Stone, 33 Turama Road, Royal Oak, Auckland 6. Don't miss out on this one.
From Veterans' Affairs:
Question: There is a rumour that applicants for assistance will be required to prove that their disability or problem is related to their service. Currently, proof is provided by War Pensions. The most frequently asked question I have heard is "But how can I prove it happened to me in Japan (or Korea etc) and not later in NZ?"
Answer: There should be no doubt - J Force veterans are NOT required to prove that their disabilities are related to their service. In fact, service in J Force has been declared as "war and emergency" service for the purposes of war pensions coverage. Therefore, the War Pensions Act 1954 requires that the reverse onus of proof apply and that the benefit of the doubt be exercised in favour of the veteran.
The onus is on the War Pensions Claims Panel to consider your claims, to obtain and take account of your Service records and to have regard for any specialist medical opinion they may require in order to determine the level and attributability of any disability.Unless there is clear proof that your disabilities not attributable to your service, then the Claims Panel is bound to find in your favour.
Remember too, that if a Claims Panel declines your claim, you have a legal right to request the National Review Officer reconsider your claim; if you are still not happy with the National Review Officer's decision, you have a legal right to appeal.
If you do lodge an Appeal, you will be invited to personally represent your claim to the Appeal Board. You are encouraged to do so, and in fact, the Board members prefer that you do so - after all who knows the full extent of your disability better than you? The Appeal meets about once every two months in Auckland or Wellington so there will be a bit of a wait. Veterans Affairs NZ will arrange and pay for all associated travel.
Question: Currently, applicants for assistance must have their forms signed by their doctor. This is a huge obstacle for some because either they don't have a doctor or they feel they have to prove to their GP that their problem has arisen as a result of their service. Some GPs have been known to refuse to sign forms for men who have later died of cancer.
Answer: The requirement for your GP to sign your war pension claim form is quite simple. It is to confirm that you do actually have the disability you are claiming for. Remember the doctor is NOT being asked to comment on the cause of the disability- and this quite often is where doctors go wrong. If you have a problem with this ring