A 'kawenata' aimed at well-being of military personal - Survey

By Aroha Mane

New Zealand’s Minister of Defence is launching a national conversation that aims to find out whether New Zealanders think there should be a formal agreement between service people, the Government, and the people of New Zealand. 

The Minister of Defence Ron Mark is looking at the idea of a 'kawenata'.

“We want the people of New Zealand to reflect on their whānaunga who are serving in the military today, who have served in the past, whose service is quite extraordinary. They undertake tasks which may well result in their death, or them being maimed or being mentally affected for the rest of their lives.”

The aim of the survey is to ensure all New Zealanders have their say. The Minister encourages all those with a view on how our military personnel should be treated to participate.

“The reason we're asking because, in the past, they haven't been looked after as well. They don't have a union to represent them, they can't go on strike, and they don't have the freedoms and liberties. They are subjected to military law," said Mark.

The Chair of the Veteran's Advisory Board, Leith Comer, hopes Aotearoa will support the idea of a kawenata between service people, the Government, and the people of New Zealand.

“What that does is it gives us the opportunity to recognise and value what our servicemen and women do.”

The survey will be conducted via telephone surveys, online surveys, submission and if required face-to-face

“I think it's important to provide strong feedback because what the Minister wants is to take the country's feelings to his colleagues.”

The survey is available at missionfeedback.co.nz and is open until 7 June 2020.