Medals for 160,000

The Government plans to issue new military medals to up to 160,000 people.

The new medals will be available to anybody who served in the military, even part time, for a minimum of three years, Prime Minister John Key, announced at the Royal New Zealand Returns and Services Association annual council meeting in Wellington today.

He said Cabinet had approved $3.85 million to make and distribute the medals.

''The medal is for those who have served in the military for more than three years since World War Two, and those who did compulsory military training or national military service.

''This is a fantastic way to give our servicemen and women the recognition they deserve.''

Applications would open next year and the first batch of medals would be delivered soon after.

Families of deceased ex-servicemen or woman could also apply, Mr Key said.

The Dominion Post