Pension move is welcome news for an old soldier

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Nothing had been confirmed in writing yesterday, but Te Runanga-a-Iwi o Ngati Kahu CEO Anahera Herbert-Graves believed recalcitrant WWII veteran Selwyn Clarke was about to have his veteran's pension restored.

The pension was stopped on November 23, after a warrant for Mr Clarke's arrest was issued in the Kaitaia District Court when he failed to appear on a charge of trespassing at Kaitaia airport (as part of an occupation) in September last year.

The Ministry of Social Development last month confirmed that, "in line with (the) rules," his veteran's pension and disability allowance had been suspended (MSD - He knows what to do, Northland Age January 28).

"Mr Clarke came into the Kaitaia office of Work and Income on December 31 to ask why his payments had been stopped. He was advised that he needed to go to the District Court to clear the warrant, which he does not appear to have done," a spokesman said. "Our staff in Kaitaia have liaised with police to support Mr Clarke to get his warrant cleared, and have provided him with the information he needs.

"Mr Clarke is in full control of his situation, and knows what he needs to do to resume payments. When he clears his warrant we [will be] happy to help and will resume payments."

Ms Herbert-Graves said on Monday that Mr Clarke's pension was now expected to be restored when his next payment fell due on Tuesday next week, however.

"We've had that verbally from WINZ, but we won't be celebrating until the paperwork comes through," she said. "At this stage we don't know if there will be any conditions, or if payments will be back-dated to when they were stopped. We are cautiously hopeful."

- Northland Age

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