30 May 2013

MP calls for compassion in case of injured brothers

9:59 am on 30 May 2013

The chair of the Maori Affairs Select Committee is confident a fresh bid by two brothers seriously injured in separate Army accidents will lead to a fairer outcome.

Damien and George Nepata have never received money for separate life-changing training accidents about 20 years ago.

George Nepata is now a tetraplegic after falling from a stretcher during an exercise in Singapore in 1989.

Damien Nepata, who was burned when a tank overturned at Waiouru in 1994, appeared before the committee on Wednesday to put their case.

Committee chair Tau Henare told Radio New Zealand's Morning Report programme such cases need to be treated with compassion.

He says Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman has committed to having a fresh look at the mens' cases.

"I'm very very hopeful that our minister and our government will look after these boys."

The Defence Force has said that while it is sympathetic, it has to operate within legislation and cannot authorise ex-gratia payments.