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Source: New Zealand Government

The Coalition Government has approved a one off grant of $2.53 million to be made to the Royal New Zealand Returned and Services Association (RSA), announced Minister for Veterans Ron Mark.  

“This grant will further support valuable frontline services that New Zealanders rely on. The funding is crucial to assist the RSA to maintain its current level of support to veterans, and to deliver its services to them in the face of Covid-19 challenges,” said Ron Mark.

“The RSA’s fundraising has been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic. This has affected both its ability to maintain its delivery infrastructure; and the amount of support it has available to deliver.”

The annual fundraising appeal, Poppy Day, was cancelled this year because New Zealand was in Alert Level 4 lockdown. The poppy appeal typically raises between $1 million and $2 million annually.

“The RSA is New Zealand’s largest veterans’ charity, and has over 102,000 members. If it does not receive this funding it will be unable to continue to make welfare grants at its usual level and will be limited in the amount of support it is able to deliver.”

The grant will be paid to the RSA national office which are best placed to determine the welfare needs that district and local RSAs are needing to meet.

Arrangements for the grant to be paid will include an agreement between the RSA and Veterans’ Affairs about how the grant will be used and the outcomes that are expected to be achieved.

“This decision will significantly impact on the RSA’s ability to support veterans, service people, and their families,” said Ron Mark.