Tribute08 was held in Wellington at Queen's Birthday Weekend 2008. It paid tribute to New Zealand's Vietnam War veterans and their families.
- Find out more about NZ and the Vietnam War here.
- See more classroom ideas, including a series of Fact Sheets, on the Vietnam War classroom page
The Vietnam War attracted considerable worldwide political opposition and protest. New Zealand was no exception. In 1971 a street parade for returning personnel of 161 Battery was disrupted by a small group of protesters who accused New Zealand soldiers of being murderers. Most of the public were supportive or apathetic but many Vietnam veterans felt shunned and hurt by what they saw as a lack of recognition for their service.
In December 2006 an agreement was signed between the government, the Ex-Vietnam Services Association (EVSA) and the Royal New Zealand Returned and Services Association (RNZRSA). Prime Minister Helen Clark acknowledged that it had fallen to her government ‘to deal with the longer term consequences of New Zealand's involvement in the Vietnam War in the 1960s and 1970s'. The government agreed to deal with a number of outstanding issues for veterans and their families, including formal recognition of their service. This included staging an official welcome home ceremony - Tribute08.
Tribute08 events included:
- an opening ceremony
- a Whakanoa Ceremony honouring those killed in action and those veterans who have died since returning home
- a Memorial Service and rededication of the Vietnam Honour in the National War Memorial
- an exhibition of New Zealand's military heritage with special focus on Vietnam.
There are a number of acronyms and terms specific to this topic which many readers may not have encountered before. A glossary is available from Vietnamwar.govt.nz.