New Zealand Tsunami heroes to receive Special Service Medal

Monday, December 26, 2005

A new medal has been created for New Zealanders who helped in recovery efforts after the Boxing Day Tsunami.

Called the New Zealand Special Service Medal (Asian Tsunami) it recognises the work of New Zealanders who went to the region after the tsunami; locating the missing, identifying the dead, and assisting those left behind. Defence Minister Phil Goff says New Zealanders who served in the devastated areas in the first two months after the tsunami, are to receive the medal.

In a provisional list; which was released today; 163 New Zealanders are honoured in which 37 are non-military or police personnel (including aid workers).

Also, forty-seven police officers will receive the honour for their work identifying bodies in Thailand.

Prime Minister Helen Clark said the medal recognised "the special service of those New Zealanders who undertook often harrowing tasks in dangerous conditions".