Topic: ANZAC

Funding military personnel to heal inner scars

By Aroha Treacher

New Zealand Defence Force members both past and present are getting a helping hand through $100,000 government funding to the No Duff Charitable Trust, which helps war veterans' mental health. 

Lawrence Hugh Rangiwai marked his 21st birthday during the Vietnam War and he still carries those scars today.

"A lot of Vietnam vets, they don't want to admit that they're māuiui [sick] but that's how we are and that funding, well, the government has promised so many fundings for us and we're still waiting," says Rangiwai.

However the government has pledged $25,000 a year over the next four years to the No Duff Charitable Trust, which means vets like him can access support services.

"Our criteria is, if you've served one day in the New Zealand Defence Force or you're the immediate dependent or family member of a veteran then as far as we're concerned you meet the criteria," says Aaron Wood, general manager of the No Duff Charitable Trust

There's an estimated 41,000 NZ veterans, with around 30,000 of those coming from modern day conflicts such as East Timor and Afghanistan.

"No Duff are the first responders who support our men and women who are suffering from the effects of post-traumatic stress injuries.  We believe that that work is valuable," says Ron Mark, Minister of Defence.

The trust began in 2016 and has supported around 200 war veterans.