25 Sep 2012

Cook Islands man fails in bid for NZ war pension payout

8:20 am on 25 September 2012

A Cook Islands man has failed in his push to have the New Zealand war veteran's pension paid without the current limitations imposed on him.

Bill Framhein who served in the New Zealand military, including 4 tours to Vietnam, has to live in New Zealand for 6 months of each year to claim the pension.

If he fails to do so he has to return the money.

Don Wiseman has more:

"Mr Framhein had sought the help of Auckland City Councillor, Mike Lee, who wrote to the Governor General, Sir Jerry Mateparae, about the issue. His secretary replied saying the Governor General couldn't intervene in administrative matters. The response from Social Development Minister, Paula Bennett, was that the eligibility criteria for a veteran's pension is set in law and she is unable to change it. Mr Lee says the Cook Islands Government could take up this case or Mr Framhein could sue the New Zealand government for denying him his full civil rights as a New Zealand citizen. Mr Framhein says he's prepared to go all the way to ensure his pension is paid without the necessity of him having to travelling overseas."