Welcome Home: reconciliation, Vietnam veterans, and the reconstruction of Anzac under the Hawke government

This paper seeks to explore the role that Hawke played in reconciling these parties and the discursive inclusion of Vietnam veterans into the Anzac narrative. In doing so, it assumes that national identity and conceptions of the nation-state are socially constructed (see Anderson 1983; Hobsbawn 2005) and that national leaders play an important role in facilitating and actively creating this process.

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Lieutenant General J. Mateparae, ONZM Chief of Defence Force

Our defence involvement in the Vietnam War spanned eight years. This was the longest commitment of our combat forces to a single conflict in New Zealand’s military history. Our involvement in the War has had an impact on our nation, those who served there, and their families, that continues to this day. The controversy connected with the Vietnam war was corrosive; it was damning; and for many of the men and women of the New Zealand Defence Force who served there it became noxious. Continue Reading

Now say sorry to Vietnam say anti-war protesters

“What’s been so painful for those soldiers is that they did their duty for the country and they’ve really been treated extremely badly by successive Governments in terms of the sickness that they picked up while serving there,” Mr Shadbolt said the Vietnamese people also had deformed children and an apology should be made to them also. Continue Reading

Leader of the Progressive Party ‘Jim Anderton’ Apology to Vietnam Veterans

May I say that as one gets older it is increasingly possible to see and participate in examples where history offers the prospect of learning lessons in the hope that things might be done better in the future. Today is one such example. The purpose of this very public statement in the House is to increase the chances of learning—as a country, as a Government, as armed forces, and as families. Continue Reading