Military veterans battling post-traumatic stress injuries and other mental health issues will be among those to benefit from funds raised by this year's Returned and Services Association Poppy Appeal.
The 2018 campaign is themed 'Not All Wounds Bleed'.
One of the focuses will be to raise awareness of the mental health needs of veterans – including our country's most-recent veterans who have served overseas.
They include issues associated with return from deployment, post-traumatic stress injuries, other mental health issues and the transition back into civilian life.
The 2018 Poppy Appeal is launched on April 10 in Auckland, with Poppy Day taking place on Friday, April 20.
NZME – through its network of newspapers, the www.nzherald.co.nz website and via its network of radio stations - is again supporting the campaign and will run a week-long series of stories looking at the work of the RSA and highlighting the battles that some veterans face.
We will also be running a text line where kind-hearted Kiwis can donate $3 and receive a virtual poppy to post to social media.
NZME chief executive Michael Boggs said the company was proud to again be supporting the RSA and their annual Poppy Appeal.
"The funds received from the appeal will benefit a lot of people who have made big sacrifices while serving their country; and the families of those veterans," Boggs said.
"The RSA has previously benefited from the generous nature of our readers and listeners and we hope again New Zealanders will get behind this very important cause."
Royal New Zealand Returned and Services Association president BJ Clark said the Poppy Appeal was vital to the care and support of New Zealand's 41,000 veterans and their families.
"Every year we find more veterans needing help and that can be from very small needs through to major life challenges that require significant support and care," he said.
"Through the generosity of Kiwis RSA can be there and offer that help. We genuinely appreciate all those who put on the poppy and make a donation during the Poppy Appeal.
"We are also grateful for the support of NZME who get behind us in a major way.
"It is fitting that having campaigned around New Zealand's mental health concerns last year, they are getting behind the Poppy Appeal at a time when we are highlighting the mental health challenges experienced by many of our service men and women."