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Vietnam Veterans' Health to be the Focus at Lower Hutt Expo

5 September 2019

A health and wellbeing expo for Vietnam veterans and their whanau living in the lower North Island will be held in Lower Hutt on 19 October.

The expo, being hosted by Veterans’ Affairs in partnership with Ranfurly Veterans’ Trust, will bring together providers and support organisations so that Vietnam veterans in the area can find information about support and services available to them.

The veterans will be able to meet Veterans’ Affairs case managers and local service providers, and will be offered seminars and brief assessments to support independent daily living.

Head of Veterans’ Affairs Bernadine Mackenzie said the expo was an opportunity for veterans to meet with Veterans’ Affairs and other organisations to find out what support was available, with immediate access to specialist providers.

“We’re hosting this event because we know that there is value in sitting down with our veterans and talking to them about what they need,” she said. “It helps us to make sure that they are getting the support they need for independent daily living.

“We held expos in Christchurch and Auckland earlier this year, which were very successful in getting Vietnam veterans connected with us and accessing support. We want to encourage all Vietnam veterans to register with us and access their entitlements.

“The focus is on supporting veterans in the way that best suits them. The expo is also a great opportunity for veterans to catch up with each other.”

All Vietnam veterans will be welcome at the expo. To attend, they should register with veterans connectors listed below, who will register them along with their whānau or other support people.

One of those connectors is Bob Davies, who served in the New Zealand Army from 1964-1995 and was in Vietnam with Victor 3 Company in 1968-1969.

Mr Davies said it would be valuable for all veterans to attend the expo to see what was on offer.

“They don’t know what they don’t know, and people should know what’s available,” he said. “There are entitlements available and they should access them, so they can be looked after.

“Also, for this cohort there is support available for the wives, widows, and their children.”

The expo is an initiative that honours the Crown’s 2006 Memorandum of Understanding that recognises specific health concerns by Vietnam veterans.

It will be held at Lower Hutt Event Centre, 30 Laings Road, Lower Hutt, from 9am-3pm on Saturday, 19 October.

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