The president of New Zealand's Bomber Command Association says veterans who have been presented with awards are grateful for the very belated recognition.
Ron Mayhill, who was a Flight Lieutenant, was one of 12 who received the Bomber Command Clasp at a special event in Auckland on Sunday.
They are the first new Commonwealth World War II awards issued since the late 1940s.
Mr Mayhill says it is important that the veterans have finally been acknowledged, but he is disappointed that the British government did not agree to the creation of a medal.
Half the Bomber Command unit - of 55,000 men - were killed in the war, and of the 6000 New Zealanders who served in it, more than 1800 died.