The Government has confirmed that it is reconsidering its refusal to repatriate the bodies of soldiers killed on foreign battlefields.
Veterans' Affairs Minister Craig Foss said this afternoon that he had asked the Veterans' Advisory Board to review New Zealand's policy on repatriation.
The Government's current position is not to repatriate bodies of soldiers who were killed while serving abroad between 1948 and the mid-1970s.
As a result, around 100 New Zealand soldiers are still buried overseas, mostly in Malaysia but also in Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Samoa, Fiji and Cyprus.
"While successive governments have maintained this policy, it has become increasingly clear that the rationale behind it needs further investigation," Foss said.
"I am therefore asking the [board] to consider the current policy on repatriation and provide advice to me."
Foss said he expected to get advice back from the board by March.
"I have always said I am the Minister for all veterans," he said.
"While many of those advocating for change are focussed on the personnel buried in Malaysia, I expect the board to consider the policy in relation to all veterans and dependents who died while serving overseas between 1948 and mid-1970."
The families of some soldiers have expressed concerns about the conditions and access to war graves, in particular in Malaysia.
Some of the soldiers are buried at sites which are not official Commonwealth war graves.
In August, Prime Minister John Key and Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee were criticised at a Vietnam War memorial for the Government's repatriation policy.
Key said at the time that it was a "hugely complicated" issue and that some families wanted their relatives to "rest where they fell".
The review would take into account the views of soldiers' families, any legal obstacles, cost, cultural considerations, and the impact of any changes on New Zealand's foreign policies.
Australia recently changed its position to bring home dead soldiers buried in South East Asia.
Foss said any lessons learned from Australia's policy would also be considered in the review.