War veteran has pension payments reinstated

Selwyn Clarke of Kaitaia had his veteran's pension and disability allowance stopped after he failed to respond to an arrest warrant. Photo / PETER JACKSON
Selwyn Clarke of Kaitaia had his veteran's pension and disability allowance stopped after he failed to respond to an arrest warrant. Photo / PETER JACKSON

An 88-year-old war veteran who was reduced to begging after his pension was cut has had his payments reinstated.

Selwyn Clarke of Kaitaia had his veteran's pension and disability allowance stopped after he failed to respond to an arrest warrant.

But the Ministry of Social Development said it had since restored Mr Clarke's payments.

"We have been advised that the arrest warrant for Mr Clarke has been withdrawn, and I'm pleased to say this means we can reinstate payments of Mr Clarke's Veteran's Pension and Disability Allowance."

The warrant for his arrest stemmed from a trespassing charge during a protest occupation of Kaitaia Airport last year.

Mr Clarke said the pension was worth around $300 a fortnight.

Iwi Ngati Kahu and Northland MP Winston Peters had come out in support of his pension being reinstated.

Iwi chief executive Anahera Herbert-Graves had started a Facebook page called "Restore Selwyn's War Pension" to raise funds and lobby for the return of his allowance.

The Ministry of Social Development said their rules around arrest warrants were clear.

"Anyone receiving a Work and Income payment who is the subject of a warrant to arrest for a criminal offence needs to clear it as soon as possible or their payments will be affected.

"Once payments have been stopped, they can't be restarted until the warrant is cleared.

- NZ Herald

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