Short film launches new Veterans’ Affairs Policy

Veterans’ Affairs, part of the New Zealand Defence Force, has launched Te Arataki mō te Hauora Ngākau mō ngā Mōrehu a Tū me ō rātou Whānau, The Veteran, Family and Whānau Mental Health and Wellbeing Policy Framework.

The framework is a detailed examination of the mental health and wellbeing needs of Aotearoa New Zealand’s veterans and has been developed to focus on the mental health and wellbeing of veterans and their families.

It aims to encourage and guide relevant government and non-government agencies to understand more about the needs of veterans and to develop services and support just for them.

Titled ‘Coming Home’, The Bakery Collective worked closely with a group of veterans to create the short film that launched the framework to government officials and veterans last week. This piece of work was about acknowledging the opportunity to be better, and shining a light on our incredible veterans and the level of support they need in their day to day lives. 

Veterans included Willie Apiata VC, Sir Bom Gillies (the last remaining member of the 28 Māori Battalion), Andy Peters, Chantelle Locke, Ben Peckham, and Maaka Mc’Kinney.

Elaine Myers-Davies, Veterans’ Affairs says the project was very close to their hearts.

“To be able to have veterans tell of their experiences first-hand and to talk openly about the impact of service on their daily lives, including the lives of their families, shows strength and also vulnerability amongst those who have served Aotearoa New Zealand.

“Working with The Bakery Collective brought their stories to life – stories that are raw, honest and impactful. The video captured the essence of what it means to serve New Zealand and the struggles that many face once they step out of uniform. Steve and his team felt the connection to this project straight away and gained the trust of the veterans in a very short time. The result draws out all the emotions and it shows just how like minded the team is in wanting to share stories that are not often told. “

Steve Baker, Director at The Bakery Collective says it was an emotional project and the team set out to create something that would genuinely connect with the veterans and their whānau.

“We knew how sensitive and important this was going to be. Having their blessings to tell their inspiring and untold stories was very special. Working with Elaine and the passionate team at VA made it a memorable one.

“Our approach was to simply show the stories and journeys of our veterans. Hours of interviews formed our storyline and the common theme that our selfless veterans need help and support when coming home. We wanted the piece to feel like it was theirs, not a campaign to showcase, but show the case for the support that’s needed.”


Veterans Affairs
Manager / Projects and Communications – Elaine Myers-Davies
Team Leader / Projects and Communications – Phil Bilbrough

The Bakery Collective
Director: Steve Baker
Producer: Nikita Kearsely 
DOP: Alex Glucina
1st AC: Blair Ihaka (Rotorua)
1st AC: Michael Paletta (Auckland)
Gaffer: Paul Eversden
Editor: Steve Baker
Colourist: Pete Ritchie
Sound Design: Field Day sound
Music Composition: Morgan Houston

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