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RSA ready to support personnel affected by NZDF’s vaccine directive

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VETERANS’ 2022-05-04

The RSA is ready to support personnel who face discharge from the NZDF due to their COVID-19 vaccination status.

The RSA recently met with United We Stand, the group who are mounting a legal challenge against the Chief of Defence Force. The legal action attempts to overturn the CDF directive which requires all NZDF personnel to be fully vaccinated and have received a booster shot, or face dismissal.

The RSA’s National President, BJ Clark, said that it was critical that, regardless of the outcome of the legal challenge, serving NZDF personnel knew that support was available to them.

“The RSA is here to support all serving personnel of New Zealand’s Armed Forces. The personnel who face losing their employment because of the vaccine directive will be experiencing significant stress brought on by the uncertainty surrounding them, a fear of becoming unemployed, and in some cases losing their home if they are living in service accommodation.

Our support advisors are ready now to help affected personnel navigate a way forward.”

The RSA will continue to meet with both United We Stand, and representatives of the NZDF to ensure the welfare of affected personnel remains front of mind.

“At the present time we are gathering information on the directive and its outcomes, including what exemptions are in place for those who cannot receive the vaccine for medical or cultural reasons.

We know the directive has been put in place to protect the NZDF’s ability to generate a force rapidly, but we want to ensure that they have considered all the options available to them with regard to retention of personnel,” said Mr Clark.

“Right now our priority is making sure that those serving personnel who are facing uncertainty know that the RSA is here to support them.”

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