His hard-earned pension was snatched away after he took part in a demonstration.
Selywn Clarke, your country has let you down. And it has a lot to answer for.
The condition of the 28th Maori Battalion veteran on the streets of the Northland township of Kaitaia has been concerning locals, many of whom have offered him food items.
Mr. Clarke’s pension was cut entirely following the veteran’s failure to appear in court following his participation in a land occupation.
“The people who were arrested that day are the people who have rights to that land. The land does not belong to Ngāi Takoto neither does it belong to the government.” Mr. Clarke told Maori Television.
He has been begging at busy scenes including a Kaitaia market for money.
“I thought I would receive the pension for the rest of my life, but now it’s been cut and I’m here seeking financial support to live off.”
In an interview for Maori Televison’s Te Kaea program, Mr. Clarke added “I recall seeing beggars in Egypt on my return from the war and thinking to myself. And yet here I am now an elderly man, and I’m begging in New Zealand, on my own land.”
I do not believe that it is a radical idea that in a modern New Zealand, no elderly person, or veteran should be left to live their years in hardship.
It goes without saying that Mr. Clarke, a veteran, who put his life on the line for his country and for peace deserves better. And it is undeniable that someone of his valour and selflessness deserves nothing less than the comfort of a secure financial situation from the government – who are currently letting him down in failing to protect someone who protected the country.
Let the world know, this is how New Zealand treats those who protected us.
Watch Maori Television’s report on Mr. Clarke by clicking here (subtitled)