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Defence Force Members Are Workers Too

Written By: - Date published: 10:31 am, April 14th, 2013 - 84 comments
Categories: class war, defence, employment, uncategorized, Unions, workers' rights - Tags:

The Court Martial of Flight Lieutenant Dan Pezaro by the NZ Defence Force is making me uneasy. The internal Court of Inquiry into this accident hinted at major disfunction within the upper reaches of the Forces in terms of health and safety. On my reading of that report, the RNZAF itself could be liable in a civil health and safety system as employer, for failing to take all practicable steps to keep its workers safe, but here we have it laying charges against its own staff member, and in a process where the force itself is prosecutor and judge.

I have written before about the lack of clarity within the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE – old DOL) regarding its role in investigating logging truck accidents – it doesn’t investigate them (leaving it to the Police) and in doing so fails to meet its statutory duties. Because the police do it, in most truck accidents the HSE law is not even considered regardless that they are clearly workplace deaths. The same applies to Defence.

In an SSC report commissioned at the end of last year which looked at which agency actually has responsibility for investigating military accidents, it was decided that MBIE is the agency responsible regardless that in the helicopter case MBIE was under the impression that Civil Aviation had the authority (something in the name Civil should have been a clue). It appears no real health and safety work has been done by the regulator with this huge employer. This is a great big gap!

Despite barely paying any attention to the forces, and the forces having a health and safety record that ain’t pretty, MBIE happily told the SSC that they are of the view that NZDF is on the whole a responsible employer! It is clear from the Court of Inquiry report that there were serious management problems in this squadron and higher up including encouragement to take risks to get a job done, and if you thought lack of power in the employment relationship was a factor in Pike River – try saying ‘no’ in the military.

The report goes on to recommend MBIE gets its act together and employs some specialist inspectors who can do this work – this hasn’t happened. The recent drowning by a soldier wearing a life jacket that didn’t inflate because the bloody gas bottle was empty raises questions regarding the most basic safety processes in some areas of Defence.

Because I can’t resist it despite you all telling me my blogs are too long – as a little aside – during the Pike investigation we objected when MBIE allowed Pike River lawyers to sit in while other miners from Pike were interviewed by its inspectors and the Police. We thought allowing the company which could be liable for the accident, to sit in when its workers were giving evidence potentially against it, was a conflict of interest. MBIE allowed it regardless. I was not surprised then to see this in the SSC report on how investigations could be done when the Defence Force or Police also want to investigate a defence accident:

NZ Police, MBIE and NZDF have advised that, in practice, joint interviews can be conducted or witness statements may be made available to other investigating bodies as far as practicable, which minimises the impact on survivors having to relive their experience and reduces the risk of evidence being altered in the retelling.”

Back to the point… sort of…

On a broader note I think it is time for more representation for those who work for the defence forces in this country. I have been concerned over the last couple of years about how the Government and Senior Officers have been taking advantage of the fact these men are sworn to loyalty and are unable to join together to have a collective voice about their employment issues. Recent attacks on them include the unilateral reduction in conditions as we saw last year when rents were significantly increased and other benefits cut, the fact that there have been virtually no pay increases to personnel for 5 years (a small increase was made last year), the moving of uniformed staff into civilian jobs undermining pay and career choices, and this along with the way the Defence Force seems to be unaccountable for its workplace accidents.

On the various picket lines last year I was surprised that the number of families who had sons in the military. It was fascinating to hear their stories – of poor quality shoes that hurt feet, of having to sew pockets into uniforms to carry necessary gear, but mostly concern over conditions of work and wage rates. Some of the stories they told were chilling.

Workers are considered “members” of the defence forces rather than employees. This means they are not covered by employment law and do not have either employment rights or a union. The legislation provides only two ways out – to leave of your own free will or to be discharged for bad behaviour (I have questioned the legality of the redundancies made last year). There is an understanding – you have a membership – in exchange for loyalty and giving up your employment rights, you will be looked after – not exploited – your pay will be fair, you will have a career etc etc. There is an assume extra level of care in the concession of rights these workers make.

But the safety stuff is the biggest worry to me. If Defence were a normal employer, the MBIE would have come in (hopefully!) and if it as an organisation was found to have failed, it would have been prosecuted. In the helicopter case – Defence investigated itself and is now charging Flight Lieutenant Dan Pezaro. The Court of Inquiry report makes disturbing reading and read along Pike River, has some similarities.

From the SSC report:

“The report found that the organisation rewarded risk-taking behaviour, for example the organisation gave a particular individual a “hero-villain” reputation; “The hero-villain would be lauded for what he/she had achieved, but was known to be pushing the limits of safe operations and therefore in conflict with the safety and rules expectations of the RNZAF”

From the Inquiry report

It is likely that operating in marginal weather conditions has become ‘normalised’ behaviour for 3 Squadron and that the formation either did not recognise the risk posed by the poor weather, or had been exposed to it so often that their perception of the risk had reduced.”

Makeshift securing strops and clips have been riveted or bolted onto the toolkit and picketing boxes throughout 3 Squadron role equipment stores and are used to secure them to the floor of the aircraft during flight. All three of these strop sets failed in the accident, freeing the items to move during the impact sequence. These items are heavy and present a significant hazard to the occupants of the aircraft once loose. The torn strops showed evidence of rotting and contamination. These strops are not subject to typical RNZAF servicing regimes, as there are no inspection requirements or design standards for the fitting of the strops to the boxes.”

The Human Factors Report identified that a ‘can do’ culture existed on 3 Squadron at the time of the accident. The ‘can do’ culture had positive aspects that included increased motivation and increased effort towards achieving tasks from scarce resources. These positive aspects are actively encouraged by the RNZAF. The positive aspect was described by one expert as ‘3 Squadron gets the job done, that’s just the way they are.’ Aircrew also stated that if you wanted to get another task, you’d get this one done. This reinforcement is apparent in the Unit Citations, SAR Awards and other commendations received by the Squadron.”

The organisational response was described by an expert as giving a particular individual a ‘hero-villain’ reputation. The hero-villain would be lauded for what he/she had achieved, but was known to be pushing the limits of safe operations and therefore in conflict with the safety and rules expectations of the RNZAF. “

It is unclear from these reports if the NZDF took “all practicable steps” to keep these young men safe. The chance the NZDF will prosecute itself it remote. It needs someone charged for this terrible accident and while this soldier may have some real responsibility to answer, I would feel better if the force itself were also at least investigated as other employers are. We know from Pike River that self regulation does not work to keep workers safe. I suspect the Military is a big fat example of that.

 

 

84 comments on “Defence Force Members Are Workers Too ”

  1. ghostwhowalksnz 1

    On top of all the above, as we have seen the RWC duties meant that essential training for Afghanistan was reduced.
    Its unbelievable how National, by their cost saving targets have turned the Defence Force into a Dads Army of incompetance.

    That poor soldier drowning is a harrowing story, poor equipment , not having the required back up boat etc. Will anyone be accountable ?

  2. dumrse 2

    What they don’t need is a Union, certainly nothing represented by the writer of the article. Try and think how they might conduct a battle when two minutes before H hour, a platoon decides to go on strike.

    [lprent: Banned for two weeks for rewriting the authors narrative. Helen mentioned unions exactly once saying they were not covered by one. The post was about the lack of oversight by the government body tasked with health and safety You do not try to rewrite what was written by an author if you wish to comment here. ]

    • Matthew 2.1

      Theres a big difference between being in a combat zone & doing a flyby for shits & giggles. And if a soldier died in a war zone because his gear failed, you can be sure there would be an investigation.

    • KJT 2.2

      I wouldn’t blame them.

      People we expect to fight and maybe die for us should have the best gear and training we can give them.

      Sounds like they do need a Union.

    • chris73 2.4

      Roughly 11 000 personal in the NZDF (about 8500 full time off the top of my head) would add some nice figures and money to the union coffers…

      But I’m sure thats not whats being suggested…

      [lprent: No it wasn’t – banned 4 weeks. The extra weeks are for trying to be a stupid lawyer and dog-whistler. ]

      • fender 2.4.1

        The top of your head seems to be rotten, this is about protecting NZDF personal, not making money you idiot. Any money involved gets invested in ensuring the wellbeing of those who have decided their interests are better served when they work together as a group.

        It’s a shame you got infected with whaleoil virus chris.

    • Murray Olsen 2.5

      How many people would be alive today if soldiers in WW1 had gone on strike instead of going over the top? If the ANZACs had shared a hangi on the beach with the Turks? Let the chickenhawk politicians and the generals go and fight each other. They can even give the survivors medals afterwards, I don’t care.

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 2.5.1

        World War I notwithstanding, nonsense. To paraphrase Tzun Tsu – failure to attend to military matters is the height of inhumanity. The alternative is that the world be ruled by despots.

        • Murray Olsen 2.5.1.1

          A good part of the world is ruled by despots. All the attending to military matters that’s gone on for centuries hasn’t done much to change that, and when our soldiers have fought, it has has sometimes been on the wrong side.
          I mentioned WW1 and Gallipoli. On Gallipoli specifically, how was Turkey not ruled by a despot after all the fighting?
          What did our troops achieve in Vietnam? Malaysia? Afghanistan? Iraq? With regard to Timor Leste, we trained the elite troops of a despot. We did really well as a Little Britain when we invaded Samoa.
          I’m no pacifist, far from it, but I don’t see that 90% of the fighting that’s happened has done anything to prevent despotic rule.

      • KJT 2.5.2

        Rather a few if both German and Allied troops had gone on strike, and refused to fight for Queen Victoria’s offspring’s domestic disputes.

  3. Pascal's bookie 3

    Always good to see the rightwing voices here showing their true colours.

    Any time there’s a war, or the US wants to bomb someone, there’s a plague of rightwingers jumping up and down about patriotism and supporting the troops. When it come to actually supporting the troops however, there is nothing but bile and dishonest horseshit.

    They don’t support the troops, they just support wars.

    Children.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 3.1

      Well said. The Right is an ethics-free zone.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1

        Not just ethics free but logic free – they really don’t seem to understand that the things they want have to be paid for.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.2

      +1000

      Bloody well said. During the 1990s the National government cut defense force spending to the point that the defense forces were effectively useless. They’re doing it again now. During the 2000s and a government that doesn’t support wars increased that spending giving the defense forces better gear and equipment. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to have given them better training or management.

  4. Tim 4

    “I have written before about the lack of clarity within the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE – old DOL) regarding its role in investigating logging truck accidents – it doesn’t investigate them…. ”

    No it doesn’t. Part of the tactic of this government was to utterly under-resource DoL investigative capability. I’ve no doubt people were yelling their concerns.
    When things verge on collapse, easier to just have a restructure/merger, no matter HOW inappropriate the mixture of functions might be, and pretend all is better.

    I’ve still got a couple of old reference numbers that (after 18 months) have just disappeared into a black hole.
    And NOT ONLY are Defence Force personnel workers too, so are students and immigrants who are subjected to broken promises, sharp deals, theft, unlawful bondage and so on by unscrupulous employers! Often they’re aided and abetted by an Immigration Department that issues visas that are tied to a specific employer. The lucky ones are those that find an employer that actually gives a shit.

    • Tim 4.1

      Oh….. I forgot – just how pleasing it is to see that we have the likes of Helen Kelly and Mike Treen giving a shit

  5. Helen Kelly 5

    David Fisher sent me this interesting link. http://m.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10869239
    On this issue of collective voice – these workers have fairly strict controls on their association so need a form of voice that fits those restrictions. I think the families could be a key here – they could form an association of some sort (Families Supporting Members of the Military?) and act as the lobby group these people need. This is a form of union with a small u really – a collective voice that fits the shape of the industry. It would have the inside information to know what was going on and could speak up with authority on the issues. It could demand that soldiers are reprseented in discussions that impact on their working conditions etc. Regardless – they need a voice in my view.

  6. mac1 6

    A former RAF and Air New Zealand pilot told me last night they should be courtmartialled. For him, with his training and experience, what seems to be a culture of risk-taking was anathema. Perhaps, though, the responsibility for that culture might be higher up than the senior pilot in the court martial.

    Reading Helen’s post, it seems that the armed services have poor equipment and safety standards, with inadequate action where safety is paramount. I would have thought that the armed forces would have been one service where inspection would be regular, rigorous and reactive.

    Widening the scope of that concern to other government initiatives, I note with concern that the new charter schools are going to be overseen by an agency that has no educational brief- the ombudsman- and therefore will have no real oversight.

  7. Macro_adder 7

    As a retired naval officer, and having worked for a number of years in what was then personnel (- now called HR) I really appreciate this post. It was always a concern for me that although most senior and middle management officers had the best interests of those who served at heart, the budgetary restrains and the need to fulfill “operational objectives” always seemed to be at odds. Having come from a family with strong socialist ideals – my dad was a union president for 20+ years the codes of conduct in Military service were out of right field so to speak! The only way that service personnel could express their dissatisfaction was, and still is! through mutiny. The last time this occurred as I recall was in the depression years when pay rates for servicemen were cut, leaving families in desperate straits.
    In the late 70’s early 80’s we had similar problems of poor pay. We were able to deal with this in a innovative way. Firstly an “open ended” engagement rather than fixed term engagement was negotiated with government. This allowed those who were dissatisfied to leave giving 3 months notice, and then, when the numbers of personnel began to reach such critical levels that the various arms were obviously becoming unable to meet their operational commitments, pay rates were finally raised to reasonable levels.
    Unfortunately, with an employment culture prevalent in this country, the result of the 1980’s and 90’s assault on worker rights and perpetuated to this day, which denigrates workers to such an extent, the situation for service personnel is exacerbated.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 7.1

      Macro_Adder, what do you make of the new rôle for the Navy in suppressing marine-based protests?

      • Macro_adder 7.1.1

        I have already added my name to the on-line petition to which Sir Geoffery Palmer and numerous others have signed http://www.greenpeace.org/new-zealand/en/take-action/Take-action-online/reject-the-Anadarko-Amendment/
        – In other words I am totally against the proposed changes. I might add that during the visit to Auckland of the the USN Nuclear ships to Auckland – whilst on one occassion I was Officer of the Day at Philomel and would have had to head the guard to eject intruders to the base – had that occurred, I and others, took the very real opportunity to tell the visitors that we really did not want their nuclear ships. We did this in a very cordial way – over a beer in the wardroom – after all they were only pawns in the game as well – but they were left in no doubt as to what we thought of the situation. Something that the civilian protester were not in a position to do.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 7.1.1.1

          Thanks for your response. I was also wondering if you could shed any light on the likely effect (if any) on morale of being deployed against NZ citizens. In an ideal world of course NZ troops would refuse any order to act against NZ civilians. Is there even a remote possibility of that?

          • Macro_adder 7.1.1.1.1

            I retired from the RNZN some years back so really am in position to answer as to what is the state of current morale, within the service. I understand that there is a huge turnover at the present time – mostly connected with current pay rates and renumeration with certain trades. Naval electrical and engineering trades in particular are in high demand by heavy industry. Unfortunately the country as a whole does not appreciate the fact that there are few institutions that train such specialist trades people. I would find it hard to accept an order to act against Civilians in fact this is one of the with the Proposed legislation.
            sorry have to log off now.

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 7.1.1.1.1.1

              Thanks again M_A.

              Let’s hope the National Party fails to remake the military in its own image.

          • Murray Olsen 7.1.1.1.2

            I know some low level people in the Army. They are environmentally conscious. I suspect there is a remote possibility that they would refuse such orders. In 1981, I was told that soldiers had discussed how far they would let Muldoon use them against civilians. My information was that they would not have gone past the support roles they performed, and certainly would not have stood at the shoulders of the Red Squad. For obvious reasons, none of this has been documented.

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 7.1.1.1.2.1

              Except here, by you, just now 🙂

              As for the rest, I should bloody well hope so too. On the environmental front, the US military rates the Greenhouse Effect as a national security concern. No congressional politics for them.

              Who would board Elvis Teddy’s boat? Or the Steve Irwin?

              I hope the National Party has picked a fight it cannot win.

              • Murray Olsen

                My “documentation” here lacks details, times, and names. I’d call it more of a passing mention.
                The military people most likely to board boats and attack civilians, in my opinion, would be in the RNZAF. They are the most right wing of any that I’ve come across, are quite happy to give lectures running down Labour Governments at the Australian Officer Academy, and are ironically seen by many others as “civilians in uniform.” Thankfully, they’d probably all get seasick.

            • joe90 7.1.1.1.2.2

              US Admiral Samuel J. Locklear on the greatest threat the Pacific faces.

              http://thinkprogress.org/security/2013/03/11/1698091/paccom-commander-climate-change/

              http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/04/10/17688591-admiral-locklear-wont-follow-inhofes-script

              Inhofe pressed Locklear to say his view has been misrepresented by “environmental extremists” who “think we’re spending too much money on defense.” The admiral did anything but that.

              About 280,000 people died in natural disasters in his Pacific area of responsibility from 2008 to 2012, Locklear said.

              “Now, they weren’t all climate change or weather-related, but a lot of them were,” he said. And that will only get worse as the population soars and even more people move toward “the economic centers, which are near the ports and facilities that support globalization,” according to the admiral.

    • ghostrider888 7.2

      Thank You for the gen. “Master-At-Arms”

  8. ochocinco 8

    What National has done to the NZDF is nothing short of treason

    It actually makes me boil with rage. Funding slashed (but creative accounting – the Vote NZDF remains high, but look at the amount underspent. In real terms they have actually had funding CUT considerably since 2008 when under Labout 99-08 it grew by more than 50% in real terms (not counting the capital charge smoke and mirrors).

    Civilianisation was stupid. They’ve slashed outputs from P-3 hours through to IPV hours as well as reduced the required readiness of our infantry units.

    They let the disgusting beancounter Rod Deane near them… a man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.

    Morale is suffering. You can’t run a country like a business, John Key, and you sure as hell can’t run a military force like a business. Esprit de corps, morale, all the intangibles are what matters.

    All the good done under Labour 99-08 has been DESTROYED. And it’s not the first time. Muldoon wondered why we needed battalions, the Roundtable in 90-92 wanted to get rid of the NZDF and thank goodness Richardson et al didn’t go along with it.

    And you know what? They’ve started, stealthily, doing the same to NZ Police. Despite their “tough on crime” rhetoric. They talk “front line” while jobs are bled from the back office… while senior officers are “steered” towards retirement. When important positions are regraded a band down.

    I could go on for hours, but I won’t. I left that world and won’t go back until we reclaim the Treasury benches in 2014.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      You can’t run a country like a business, John Key,

      And in fact, Key isn’t even running things like a good business, just a short term ponzi scam.

      No serious business person who wanted to build a value adding organisation to last would do what he has done.

  9. Tazireviper 9

    Reminds me of a long not forgotten Incident from my past
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melbourne%E2%80%93Evans_collision

  10. Yes 10

    Hold on Helen Kelly just used the words collective…sounds like touting for union fees…the better question for Helen was what makes her an expert on this matter? The title also suggest employment slant

    [lprent: “Yes” only seems to show up when Helen Kelly writes a post and then runs troll style diversions on her posts. Now banned for being a idiot and for never managing to actually say anything on interest past their personal obsession. I’ve left the few comments where they said something substantive and wiped where they were simple trolling tactic statements. ]

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      Touting for workers’ union fees and workers’ union strength!

      Every military knows that co-ordinated action always beats individualistic action. Duh.

      the better question for Helen was what makes her an expert on this matter?

      Do you have any substantial criticisms of the statements made or do you just want to take random potshots at the person?

      • Yes 10.1.1

        there is a fine line between military and workers – there is an expectation of our defence forces on what they sign up for – I think the heading is unfortunate and leads to the wrong assumptions.

        potshots – good words when you consider what the article is about – she is the one taking potshots

        • Colonial Viper 10.1.1.1

          there is a fine line between military and workers – there is an expectation of our defence forces on what they sign up for

          Yeah, like because they may be called on at any time to risk their lives, that they should be well paid, well resourced, well equipped and well led.

          Not much to ask eh?

          potshots – good words when you consider what the article is about – she is the one taking potshots

          Kelly has raised several critical and potentially systemic issues to do with the employment status and safety of our defence force staff. It’s time for you to take these seriously instead of treating the concerns as a joke.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 10.1.1.2

          Why can’t we get some commentary from the Right that consists of anything other than unsupported assertions and bile?

          Here we have yet another example – empty words signifying nothing other than a resentment of the author and the message. Genuine counter arguments are a bit of a stretch.

          No wonder they have a reputation for stupidity when “Yes” et al embody it on a daily basis.

          • Yes 10.1.1.2.1

            awww come on guys – firstly why do you think I am from the right?

            2nd – lets get to the nuts and bolts – Helen Kelly uses well known union phrases in writing her report or essay – whatever it is. But all I am saying is that talking to some mothers on a picket libne is pretty dam weak info to say the least.

            My wife complains everyday but I dont go writing big naff conclusions.

            Helen Kelly is not qualified to talk on that matter – if she invited someone on behalf on armed forces yes – i would give it cred. Of course defence workers are workers are workers – do you think the general public is that thick

            [lprent: She doesn’t have to be a expert on defense matters. She is asking a question about safety. When I was a soldier then I’d have expected to have some oversight on such matters from outside of the military as well. It rather shocks me that there doesn’t appear to be anything in the review of air accidents. It makes me wonder what other areas aren’t reviewed either.

            Simple standard safety procedures demand that all ‘accidents’ involving death or even injury are reviewed by an outside body who are experts. This may be anything from a coroners court to aviation authorities. They should definitely not be the rubber stamp that MOBIE appears to provide. ]

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 10.1.1.2.1.1

              Do you have anything substantive to say or are you a little bit challenged? The OP discusses health and safety issues and raises the conflict of interest and lack of natural justice inherent in the RNZAF’s prosecution of Flight Lieutenant Dan Pezaro, but instead you chose a vacuous childish attack on Helen Kelly, not to mention the poor woman who was unfortunate enough to marry you.

              Or is she a stupid wingnut too?

            • felix 10.1.1.2.1.2

              “My wife complains everyday”

              Really? I can’t imagine why.

              “but I dont go writing big naff conclusions.”

              Until now.

            • Murray Olsen 10.1.1.2.1.3

              We should all be worried about the conditions under which those our government may send into danger are serving. Are you suggesting that a unionist should not be?
              I also doubt if a present armed forces member can give their opinion about their employer on a blog.

  11. AmaKiwi 11

    At the time of the crash the MSM speculated that to SAVE money on expensive hotel accommodation in Wellington on the night before ANZAC Day, the crew had been instructed NOT to fly in the day before. (They were going to the dawn ceremony.) So they took off in the dark and died.

    Any confirmation on whether that line of inquiry has been investigated?

    It sounds very plausible to me.

  12. Yes 12

    [idiot troll statement deleted]

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 12.1

      Yep, you really haven’t got anything to say, have you? Not only that, you are determined to confirm the widely held belief that wingnuts are as thick as pigshit.

      • Yes 12.1.1

        [idiot troll statement deleted]

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 12.1.1.1

          Have you read the site policy on attacking authors? Doing so might give you a teensy hint as to why I think you’re an idiot.

          I note you are still spouting vacuous drivel and you still haven’t made a single substantive observation.

          I sense you may not be here long.

    • Colonial Viper 12.2

      let me go another way – what has Helen Kelly done for NZ?

      She’s raised a number of important employment, health and safety issues affecting, and possibly endangering, our defence force staff.

      While you’ve patently ignored those issues simply in order to attack the messenger.

    • karol 12.3

      Reading, and examining the report, and posting about the concerns thereby raised, is beneficial to many Kiwis – as with Helen’s campaigning for the health and safety of forestry workers – or do the lives of Kiwis doing their best for the other people not matter to you?

  13. Yes 13

    [idiot troll statement deleted]

  14. Yes 14

    Never denied the intention of the article just why is talking to someone on a picket line makes her an expert on armed forces

    • Colonial Viper 14.1

      Why? Did she claim that she was a military strategist?

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 14.2

      Does it? In your wizened little wingnut “brain” perhaps it does. The article, on the other hand, is about health and safety, the callous and fatal disregard of the same by this government, and the conflict of interest inherent in the RNZAF’s prosecution of Flight Lieutenant Dan Pezaro.

      I note your puerile drivel fails completely to challenge any of that, while also failing to land a single hit on your intended target.

      Keep it up, you’re a perfect example of a National Party gimp.

      • Yes 14.2.1

        [idiot troll statement deleted]

        • Colonial Viper 14.2.1.1

          Actually I voted for Martians and don’t worry I hired the Pink Panther to continue the investigation

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 14.2.1.2

          Still talking shite, still got nothing to say, except now you’re a literary critic. Twit.

        • karol 14.2.1.3

          Well, what Helen has done is a bit of an investigation – looking at the reports from 2 inquiries, talking to several relevant people. As far as I know she hasn’t been allocated funding, resources and the authority to do more.

          This is just a blog post, raising some important issues. Maybe it will eventually lead to a more extensive inquiry.

          Meanwhile, do you have anything to say about the substance of the issues Helen has raised?

          Looks more like a diversion to me.

    • karol 14.3

      Helen did more than talk to one person – she talked to several people on the picket line as well as looking closely at a couple of relevant reports. Did you actually read the post, Yes?

  15. Yes 15

    [idiot troll statement deleted]

  16. Yes 16

    [idiot troll statement deleted]

  17. Yes 17

    Tell me no one has answered my question..is Helen kelly qualified to talk on this matter..not the report

    [lprent: What I find noticeable is that you only show up whenever Helen writes a post, and then you write crap. I’d say that you have a simple obsession. Permanent ban for attacking an author. All comments you make under any name will be wiped. ]

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 17.1

      English comprehension 101: it wasn’t a question.

      What qualifications does a workers’ advocate need to discuss health and safety, natural justice and conflict of interest? Am I using too many syllables?

    • lprent 17.2

      On the inability of MOBiE in overseeing safety? Yes I’d say that there is no-one better. Do you think that they’re doing a goo job. If so then explain where you get you expertise from.

      And you do look like just another moronic troll insisting that you know everything. All of the usual characteristics, which is why no-one engages with you.

      However. Wiping your comments that look like troll barbs and are without informational content.

  18. Forgotten 19

    Not a bad report, but you missed something vital that has irritated me for years throughout my service – the NZDF also employs WOMEN. We go through the same rubbish, get the same poor uniform & face the same, sometimes worse, treatment. So don’t forget. The NZDF isn’t just for men.

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    10 hours ago
  • Cook Islands youth lead Language Week
    The Cook Islands Language Week theme for 2021 highlights the vital role language plays in maintaining young people’s links to their Pacific home, said Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio.  “The Epetoma o te reo Māori Kūki ‘Āirani – Cook Islands Language Week – theme is ‘Ātuitui’ia au ki ...
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    12 hours ago
  • Government offers formal apology for Dawn Raids
    A formal and unreserved apology for the Dawn Raids The Government will offer education scholarships as part of the apology Manaaki New Zealand Short Term Scholarship Training courses Support Pacific artists and historians to develop a comprehensive written and oral account of the Dawn Raids Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has ...
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    1 day ago
  • Speech to Dawn Raids Apology
    Tēnā koutou katoa, Kia orana kotou katoatoa, Fakaalofa lahi atu ki mutolu oti, Tālofa nī, Mālō nī koutou, Ni sa bula vinaka, Fakatalofa atu, Noa'ia 'e mauri, Kam na mauri, Malo e lelei, Sioto'ofa, Mālō lava le lagi e mamā ma le soifua maua, Oue tulou, tulou atu, tulouna lava ...
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    2 days ago
  • Bridging the gap – last piece of Northcote Safe Cycle Route now complete
    The opening of two bridges over Auckland’s Northern Motorway is the last link of a cycling and walking route which provides a safe, active alternative for students and commuters, Transport Minister Michael Wood said today. Michael Wood cut the ribbon for the completion of the Northcote Safe Cycle Route, at ...
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    2 days ago
  • Progress in establishment of Aged Care Commissioner
    Recruitment for an Aged Care Commissioner will start next month, to ensure greater oversight of New Zealand’s aged care sector. “This sector is responsible for supporting a large and often vulnerable population. While most people are able to access quality care, there have been cases where that care has fallen ...
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    3 days ago
  • New record number of homes consented
    In the year ended June 2021, the actual number of new dwellings consented was 44,299, up 18 percent from the June 2020 year. In June 2021, the seasonally adjusted number of new dwellings consented rose 3.8 percent. In June 2021, 4,310 new dwellings were consented, an increase of 3.8 per ...
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    4 days ago
  • Communities backed to tackle wilding pines
    Twelve community projects across New Zealand will receive a share of $2 million to carry out wilding pine control, Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor announced as part of Biosecurity Week. “Wilding pines are a serious problem that threaten many of the unique landscapes that New Zealanders value. Community groups and trusts ...
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    4 days ago
  • Health Minister Andrew Little responding to the New Zealand Nurses Organisation's rejection of ...
    I was advised last night that the result of the ballot of Tōpūtanga Tapuhi Kaitiaki o Aotearoa New Zealand Nurses Organisation members have rejected the latest proposal to settle their collective agreement. Let me be clear: the proposal was one they put to the Government. The Nurses Organisation rejected their ...
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    4 days ago
  • Conversion Practices Prohibition Legislation introduced to Parliament
    Legislation has been introduced to Parliament to protect against practices intended to change or suppress someone’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. Introducing the Conversion Practices Prohibition Legislation Bill, Minister of Justice, Kris Faafoi, said the measures proposed were aimed at ending conversion practices which don’t work, are widely ...
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    4 days ago
  • New kaupapa Māori mental health and addiction services to support people in central North Island
    New mental health and addiction services rolling out across the central North Island will improve outcomes and equity for Māori, Associate Minister of Health (Māori Health) Peeni Henare says. Today the Minister met with providers of the new kaupapa Māori primary mental health and addiction service, Poutama Ora, which will ...
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    4 days ago
  • New school site for booming West Auckland
    The Government will build on a new school site in West Auckland to cope with rapid population growth in the area, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says. The Ministry is working with existing local schools to determine how the 1.5-hectare site at 279 Hobsonville Point Road will be used to support ...
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    4 days ago
  • Trans-Tasman travel window to close at midnight tomorrow
    A further 500 MIQ rooms released for managed returnees from NSW Further Government actions announced today are balanced to provide more certainty for Kiwis wanting to return from Australia, while continuing to protect New Zealand from COVID-19, acting Minister for COVID-19 Response Ayesha Verrall says. The actions were foreshadowed last ...
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    4 days ago
  • Govt investing millions in Hawke's Bay and Tairāwhiti schools
    Napier Boys’ and Girls’ High Schools are among those set to benefit from a $16.5 million investment in the Hawke's Bay and Tairāwhiti region, Economic and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash announced today. The Government has set aside money in Budget 2021 to accelerate five projects in Napier, Hastings, Havelock North ...
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    5 days ago
  • Game changing Jobs for Nature investment for Northland
    Conservation Minister Kiri Allan has announced Jobs for Nature funding for a portfolio of projects that will create ‘game changing’ gains for nature and communities across Northland/Te Tai Tokerau as part of the Government’s acceleration of the economic recovery from COVID. “This portfolio of 12 projects will see over $20 ...
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    5 days ago
  • Third COVID-19 vaccine receives provisional approval
    New Zealand’s regulatory authority Medsafe has granted provisional approval of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for individuals 18 years of age and older, Acting Minister for COVID-19 Response Dr Ayesha Verrall announced today. New Zealand secured 7.6 million doses (enough for 3.8 million people) of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine through an ...
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    5 days ago
  • Bowel-cancer screening programme is saving lives
    More than 1000 New Zealanders have had bowel cancer – New Zealand’s second-most-common cause of death from cancer - detected under the Government’s National Bowel Screening Programme, Health Minister Andrew Little said today. More than 1200 New Zealanders died from bowel cancer in 2017. The screening programme aims to save ...
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    5 days ago
  • Govt welcomes draft report on the retail grocery sector
    The Commerce Commission’s draft report into the retail grocery sector is being welcomed by Government as a major milestone. “I asked the Commerce Commission to look at whether this sector is as competitive as it could be and today it has released its draft report for consultation,” Commerce and Consumer ...
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    5 days ago
  • Christchurch’s Youth Hub ‘set to go’ thanks to further Government funding
    Construction of New Zealand’s first, purpose-built centre for youth well-being is ready to get underway thanks to an extra $2.5 million of COVID-19 response funding, Housing Minister and Associate Minister of Finance, Megan Woods announced today.  “The Christchurch Youth Hub is about bringing together all the things young people need ...
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    5 days ago
  • Next step to protect Milford Sound Piopiotahi
    Expert group lays out plan to better protect iconic UNESCO World Heritage site Milford Sound Piopiotahi and its surrounds Funding confirmed for dedicated unit and Establishment Board to assess the recommendations and provide oversight of the process from here Milford Opportunities Project a test case for transformational change in tourism ...
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    6 days ago
  • Funding for projects to reduce waste from construction and demolition
    The Government has announced funding for projects in Auckland and the lower North Island to help reduce construction and demolition waste. “Construction is the main source of waste sent to landfill, and much of this could be reduced, reused and recovered,” Environment Minister David Parker said. “The Government is funding ...
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    6 days ago
  • Speech at the launch of the National Hepatitis C Action Plan
    Tēnā koutou katoa. Thank you Anglesea Pharmacy and Te Manawa Taki for hosting this event. As a doctor, I saw first hand the impact of hepatitis C. I met Moana in 2019; she came to the infectious diseases outpatient clinic at Wellington Hospital having tested positive for hepatitis C. Like ...
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    6 days ago
  • Plan to eliminate hepatitis C as a major health threat by 2030
    A plan to eliminate hepatitis C in New Zealand, reducing liver cancer and the need for liver transplants, has been released today by Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall. “Around 45,000 New Zealanders have hepatitis C, but only around half know they have it,” said Ayesha Verrall. “Symptoms often ...
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    6 days ago
  • School upgrades and new classrooms for West Coast, Tasman and Canterbury
    A funding injection from Budget 2021 to complete four shovel ready projects and new classrooms at six schools and kura will provide a real boost to local communities, Minister Dr Megan Woods announced today. “This Government has committed to providing quality fit for purpose learning environments and 100,000 new student ...
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    6 days ago
  • Warmer Kiwi Homes smashes annual target
    The Government's highly successful insulation and heating programme, Warmer Kiwi Homes, is celebrating a key milestone with the completion of more than 38,000 insulation and efficient heater installs in the year to the end of June, smashing its target of 25,000 installs for the year. “The Warmer Kiwi Homes scheme ...
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    7 days ago
  • Exemption granted for Wallabies to enter NZ
    Bledisloe Cup rugby will be played in New Zealand after the Australian rugby team received an economic exemption to enter New Zealand. Travel between Australia and New Zealand was suspended on Friday for at least eight weeks following the worsening of the COVID outbreak across the Tasman. New Zealanders have ...
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    7 days ago
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs makes three diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced three New Zealand Head of Mission appointments. They are: Mike Walsh as Ambassador to Iran Michael Upton as Ambassador to Ethiopia and the African Union Kevin Burnett as Ambassador to Indonesia Iran “Aotearoa New Zealand has a long-standing and constructive relationship with Iran, despite a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Enhanced Task Force Green Approved for West Coast and Marlborough
    The Government has activated Enhanced Task Force Green (ETFG) in response to the West Coast and Marlborough floods, Social Development and Employment Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced today. “To assist with the clean-up, up to $500,000 will be made available to support the recovery in Buller and Marlborough which has experienced ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Govt support for upgrade of Eden Park players facilities
    Minister for Sport and Recreation Hon Grant Robertson has announced funding to upgrade the players facilities at Eden Park ahead of upcoming Women’s World Cup events. Eden Park is a confirmed venue for the Rugby World Cup 2021, the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022, and a proposed venue for matches of ...
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    7 days ago
  • More jobs and quicker public transport motoring towards West Auckland
    Work to improve public transport for West Aucklanders and support the region’s economic recovery by creating hundreds of jobs has officially kicked off, Transport Minister Michael Wood announced today. Michael Wood and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff this morning marked the start of construction on the Northwestern Bus Improvements project. It ...
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    7 days ago
  • Government backs critical health research
    Research into some of New Zealanders’ biggest health concerns including cancer, diabetes, and heart disease is getting crucial support in the latest round of health research funding, Health Minister Andrew Little announced today. The funding, awarded through the Health Research Council of New Zealand, covers 31 General Project grants ($36.64 ...
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    7 days ago
  • New Bay of Islands hospital facilities to bring services closer to home
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Andrew Little have joined a ceremony to bless the site and workers for Phase Two of the redevelopment of the Bay of Islands Hospital in Kawakawa today. The new building will house outpatients and primary care facilities, as well as expanded renal care ...
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    1 week ago
  • Raukokore re-imagined with ‘smart’ relocatable rent to own housing
    Iwi, Crown Partnership Relocatable, fully insulated housing, connected to a new solar plant Provides a pathway to home ownership New housing in the remote eastern Bay of Plenty community of Raukokore shows how iwi and Crown agencies can work together effectively to provide warm, dry, energy efficient homes in a ...
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    1 week ago
  • Cabinet accepts Turkish authorities’ request for the managed return of three NZ citizens
    Cabinet has agreed to the managed return of a New Zealand citizen and her two young children from Turkey, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. The three have been in immigration detention in Turkey since crossing the border from Syria earlier this year. Turkey has requested that New Zealand repatriate ...
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    1 week ago
  • Govt delivers more classrooms so children can focus on learning
    Extra Government investment in classrooms and school building projects will enable students and teachers to focus on education rather than overcrowding as school rolls grow across the country, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis say. The pair visited Ruakākā School in Whangārei today to announce $100 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New station a platform for AirportLink to take off
    Every Aucklander with access to the rail network will now have a quick and convenient trip to the airport, Transport Minister Michael Wood and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said during the official opening of the new Puhinui Interchange today. The new interchange links the rail platform with a new bus ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • 10 days sick leave for employees delivered
    Legislation doubling employees’ minimum sick leave entitlement to 10 days comes into effect today, bringing benefits to both businesses and employees, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood announced today. “Our Government is delivering on a key manifesto commitment to help Kiwis and workplaces stay healthy,” Michael Wood said. “COVID-19 ...
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    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister congratulates Fiame Naomi Mata’afa on Election Win
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern tonight congratulated Prime Minister-elect Fiame Naomi Mata’afa on her victory in the Samoa’s general election. “New Zealand has a special relationship with Samoa, anchored in the Treaty of Friendship. We look forward to working with Samoa’s new government in the spirit of partnership that characterises this ...
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    1 week ago
  • Quarantine Free Travel with Australia suspended
    Quarantine Free Travel from all Australian states and territories to New Zealand is being suspended as the Covid situation there worsens, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. From 11.59pm today Australians will no longer be able to enter New Zealand quarantine-free. This will be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Growing conservation efforts in Gisborne
    A big injection of Jobs for Nature funding will create much-needed jobs and financial security for families in TeTairāwhiti, and has exciting prospects for conservation in the region, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “The projects target local communities most affected by the economic consequences of COVID 19 and are designed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago