TVNZ has coordinated a public plea by a group of high-profile New Zealanders for the return of the VC medals stolen from the Waiouru War Museum.
A 30 second video clip featuring prominent Kiwis, including the latest VC recipient Corporal Willie Apiata, will ask whoever stole the medals to show respect, and return them safely.
The clip will be played throughout the weekend on TV ONE , TV2, and tvnz.co.nz, and will also be placed on TVNZ’s YouTube site.
In the clip cricketing legend Sir Richard Hadlee says the medals were paid for in courage, and stealing them has hurt all New Zealanders.
Sportsman and television personality Marc Ellis asks the thieves to think long and hard about who they have dishonoured, and actor Robyn Malcolm asks for healing of the pain felt by the New Zealand community as a result of the loss of the medals.
The idea for the public service clip came from Wellington-based ONE News reporter Simon Bradwell, who felt TVNZ’s reach as the nation’s broadcaster could deliver a message that might prick the conscience of the thieves or those close to them, and lead to the medals’ safe return.
He says the idea was enthusiastically seized by everyone he approached, and in the end there were more famous New Zealanders wanting to take part than could be fitted in.