Thank you very much for taking the time to copy letter from Minister Paul East 6th November 1996 too me.

Unfortunately it appears the Minister has been miss-informed as the monies that were miss appropriated ($10,000) was collected to the benefit of the Department Social Security and not another party has he has been lead to believe,  I have no idea in what court the moneys were taxed (Other than Taree Court NSW) and I ask that Minister Paul East takes the time to find the truth from department of Social Security South Auckland,  from the department involved as set out in the information copied to you.

In respect to the first part of Minister Paul East’s  reply concerning the Department Income Support as Minister In Charge in reply, I strongly disagree that I requested a review of the rate of pension being paid,  The review was an ordered review by his department. held on 10th September 1996 and on the 7th November an appeal was heard in review of decision of  10th September 1996, it however appears that my submission was not considered by the review office Mrs Margaret Faulkner.

I also have received letter of 11th November 1996 from Mrs Valerie McNaughton Department Income Support, As I have repeatedly contended I did appeal the first decision made in this matter which appeal made in 1990 should be excepted by the department.

Minister McCully with respect,  It seems that these matters should be heard by a third party so that a full investigation is undertaken, It dose not seem constructive for Minister Paul East to parrot his juniors in the Department Income Support Nelson as none of these matters have to the best of my knowledge been carefully investigated by that department.

To the best of my ability I have set out the following which sets out quite clearly why I remain so persistent in trying to settle these concerning matters.


That upon attending a private doctor in “Ngatea”  for the first time after the alleged discharge from the NZ Army, I was admitted into  Carrington  psychiatric hospital and later again I was ordered by the Papakura Court for assessment and became an  outpatient Kingseat  Hospital Auckland,  prior to service I was in good health and didn’t suffer as I do now.

I was placed on a sickness benefit by the then Department of Social Welfare Auckland for about five months and subsequently I was then given no financial support or treatment in breach of their duty of proper care.

Clearly since then there has been an avoidance of a duty of care that was set by the Army, also Papakura Court and by the Department of Social Welfare, which clearly they held under statutory duty which is therefore now actionable.

The duty of care I believe has been, and is still to this day been repeatedly refused or not accorded properly, given that a number of appeals were made against decisions  the government department of Income Support Service made, and as the appeals and a hearing of stated relevant matters have been repeatedly un-heard or refused. The department is labelling and uttering in a rude manner repeatedly,  un-acceptable levels of compensation.

The department has been trying to assess compensation upon which fair amount we don’t agree, myself disputing matters which I disagree with and I feel it is unfair that such conduct should continue without my receiving proper hearing of the pleadings and a refusal to furnish copies of reports made on my person upon which they rely, even in face of the doctors written request that they should  so release the report.

Also I have raised matters with other departments to arrive at the truth and a fair settlement so far without effect.   Matters which I feel are now escalating to an extent making me a person aggrieved by the administrative conduct seeking a final settlement for compensation to be arrived at, (which these matters relate)  I believe it is now best that these matters be expedited by arbitration by an agreed upon trusted third party.

Either by the Office of the Ombudsman or a Court of Law offering natural justice, however it should be now so that I am now excepted as in need of a
“guardian-ad-litem” so that the truth still comes to front and effects upon my health and peace of mind be minimised as I have endued far more than is reasonable to expect of a junior NCO being deprived of his proper entitlements.

As the Department Income Support  have  refused two appeals with out any reasonable grounds  irregularities are now enclosed within the file, (they are not of my making) which are increasing pain and suffering upon me and they should be bought to front.

Given I strongly disputed the contend of an untruthful report made by a Dr. Mike Richardson of Taree NSW who states ! ( “I was not involved in hand-to-hand fighting- he was not wounded-he was not involved in night patrols - when he exited from the force he was found medically A1-he found no psychiatric disorder-in particular, there is no evidence for any persistent or pervasive mood disorder, anxiety disorder or post traumatic stress disorder” ! )

I strongly disagree with those statements as they do not represent the truth, they are untruthful, they  flower the truth with deception which I sort to appeal twice against and have repeatedly been refused an opportunity to do so,  records clearly show those statements to be false and degrading.

Now I perceive the Department of Income Support intend to cement such untruthful degrading, humiliating reflections upon my service and person while they clearly are avoiding the reasonable care for which I seek this right of action due to a wrong.

My army records do not show events which occurred regarding my health that was assessed while overseas, However I would be glad to raise in a more public way the surrounding events which lead to an assessment being made at a time in Bong Song South Vietnam by the New Zealand Military Medical Team South Vietnam of my person and the reasons why an assessment occurred which will bear no reflexion on my self.

Further the department of social welfare acted to break up my Taree marriage and steal funds using an un-lawful order of a NZ Court (and an Australian Court who could not vary the order) which of cause was made while I was homeless, unemployable and subject to a Papakura Court Order with recorded problims that were known to be from service, war related problims.

That I was not properly trained nor trained in a proper manner and miss-lead by the army gives raise to the following and the supporting statements of service and events.

I Enlisted 10th March 1964 in the New Zealand Army ( Who I believe for-fill the nature of an Artificial Person) This enlistment was for three years regular force and five years on the Active Reserve List, Which engaging instrument said that a discharge becomes effective when reserve terminates 9th March 1972. or as is set out in same,
Army Form NZ--5B sec. 21 “or until Lawfully Discharged”.

On 10th March I marched into Papakura Camp A Patoon 1 Tpt Coy R.N.Z.A.S.C. under common rule as a recruit to serve  and to except and obey all those set over me which I faithfully have and am doing so, until law-full discharge.
(an obligation I believe is still held by the army)

Subsequently I was Posted too HQ CRASC Fort Cautley 23rd August 1965. Then as it currently stands, as of this time, under that agreement  I marched out of camp 27th May 1968 and was paid thur to 11th June 1968, last pay having being received 21st June 1968.

The Records Claim  

I was posted to 161 Bty Depot 1st November 1966 and that I had re-engaged from 11th November 1966 until 20th June 1968 and that while in Vietnam in March 1967 in one or even less than one month after my arrival I applied for premature release because I had learnt my tour of active service was only to be for 12 months and that I should reapply on return to New Zealand for early discharge. These matters lead, I believe, Too,  “Vicarious Liability”, My Army Records as they are presented by the Defence Force,  Are a complete fabrication that has been detected. The records are completely untruthful, they do not represent the truth.

I believe the recording of the records is quite recklessness, miss representative of the facts, truth,  or of the nature of military law,  as my files then show discharge was recommended on the 9th April 1968 by the OC 1 Tpt Coy R.N.Z.A.S.C. using the above fifteen month misleading matters which are a fabrication detected and provable before law.

The Facts speak clearly in conflict with the records:-

I was posted for active service on the 11th January 1967 and the records say I was emplaned at Whenuapai on the 22nd January 1967 and I deplaned Tan Son Nhut, South Vietnam on the 24th January 1967 (in that time I travelled in a C130 to Alice Springs Australia staying one night then spent some two weeks or so in Singapore),  all within those two days from my departure from New Zealand and arrival, according to the records.

I Departed South Vietnam on the 8th day of February 1968 and left Changi Singapore on the 25th February 1968 arriving New Zealand 1900 hours on the 27th February 1968 and went straight on leave from the airport thur till 25th March 1968. (Those matters I agree) With the exception I got married on 23rd March and went on a Honeymoon straight away with my wife taking in all or most of the lower north Island and down as far as Dunedin and across the Haast Pass and back by car but not in the two days they allow in the records.

I believe that my records have been tamped with, That the re-enlistment which I firstly signed to cover my tour of duty as a Gunner Driver may have been made on the 10th day of March 1966 thur to 9th day of March 1968 though my Army records show it as being 10-3-67 to 9-3-68 or 9-6-68,  It then appears to have been changed to read 11th November 1966 too 9th June 1968. 
(Army form NZ 6A)

I believe that my posting to Vietnam was cancelled without an explanation early in 1966, I went to Papakura Camp 161 Bty thinking I was off to Vietnam as a Gunner Driver. My records do not show this. I recall being very upset at having extended and then finding the posting cancelled.

That I believe I was requested to re-enlist while in Vietnam as my contract was found either not to be long enough to cover my tour of duty, or it had expired, I am uncertain what date that occurred but it would have been well after the 9th March as is suggested however my alleged re-engagement March 10th 1966 would have then set out  my contract ending  9th March 1968.

The Army should  clarify by producing the documents for inspection and should present proof of my lawful discharge to satisfy the truth as I believe they should now grant a Lawful Discharge with all entitlements.

Further Form 79 Reference; A. AF 127 of 9th April 1968
sets out a medical occurred on the 3 / 5 / 68 signed by a Lt Col Chief of Staff NMD.  The records show that I was passed as F E when however no personal medical occurrence occurred on the 3rd May 1968.

I strongly disagree I have ever too this day been examined by an Army or other Army employed Medical Doctor and respectfully ask for a careful honest review of these matters. The facts have not been truthfully portrayed and others have been miss-lead  by the apparent contend of my records.

I agree I did have a chat with a fellow Vietnam Veteran Navy Petty Office on the day of the alleged Discharge Medical Board but disagree that a Medical Board Assessed my person on that day.

I am raising also issues like the improper training I received before posting too Vietnam such as the reports in the Rodney, Dargaville, Whangarei, Kaikohe, and in the Kaitaia newspapers.


1 Tpt Coy Gt RNZASC. A recruiting exercise, The writer while under training for service in South Vietnam with the New Zealand Army, just prior to his posting to Vietnam, paraded down the main streets dressed in Viet Cong clothing being pursued by New Zealand troops.

Another exercise held in Taumarunui and reported in the Taumarunui Newspaper,  The matter that is of most interest is a reported Dance held in their Town Hall, the dance was arranged by the local RSA and Army and gave me a sweetheart to write too just before my posting to a job I had never previously heard of.

I have written to the concerned newspapers and a friend attended some. However he found a number of items had been cut out and was not then able to obtain a copy for me.

On the 15th August 1988 a Dr Ian D. Hamann of Taree NSW  advised that I am permanently unemployable other than in an unsupervised environment without pressure.

2nd June 1988 I lodged a claim for a Service pension as a Commonwealth Veteran in Australia as stated by the Australian Department of Veterans Affairs in their judgement! (because of my permanent incapacity which is likely to last indefinitely as I have been mentally incapacitated from ever earning a livelihood in the work force!)

I didn’t even have basic military training, I was mostly left on my own un-armed living amongst the enemy and other armies, dumped out of the army upon my return without proper medical boarding and didn’t fair well, being sacked from my first attempt at employment quickly and lasting a simular time with the next employment and finally I completely broke down having no one left to trust or an ability to function in a community.

I believe I should be given a fair hearing as I believe I have a right of action, As I have been wronged, and proper compensation should now be set, That then therefore I can attempt to, for once,  live in a manner above poverty with proper discharge being accorded and some honour, humiliation and loss of life style restored in good faith and with some dignity.


Robert Francis Plumtree