27 Sep 2012

New Zealand Government to officially honour coastwatchers

4:20 pm on 27 September 2012

The New Zealand government is to pay official tribute for the first time to the work of the country's coastwatchers.

During the Second World War New Zealand established up to 62 coastwatching stations on various islands throughout the Pacific, in order to track enemy movements and report them back to the Allied forces.

A commemorative service will be held in October, coinciding with the 70th anniversary of the deaths of the New Zealand coastwatchers in Kiribati.

The Chief of Defence Force, Lieutenant General Rhys Jones, says the coastwatcher story is one of heroism, sacrifice, and suffering, and it is one that is not widely known.

He says the recognition is overdue.