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Chair to Territorial Forces Employer Support Cncl

Hon Mark Burton
Minister of Defence

29 August 2005 Media Statement

Chair appointed to Territorial Forces Employer Support Council

Minister of Defence Mark Burton has announced the appointment of John Allen, Chief Executive of New Zealand Post, as the first chair to the Territorial Forces Employer Support Council (TFESC).

The Volunteers Employment Protection Act (2004) created the TFESC by statute. The Council is a national organisation, sponsored by the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF), to develop the support of employers of part-time members of the NZDF.

Mr Burton said Territorials are a valuable part of the NZDF and ambassadors for New Zealand.

"There are around 35 territorial personnel deployed in off-shore operations a year and in the past 12 months territorials have served in Sierra Leone, the former Yugoslavia, Lebanon, Iraq, East Timor, Sinai and Afghanistan.

"Territorial personnel have also been involved in assisting in Aceh following the Tsunami disaster, in Matata and Tauranga following the floods and recently as part of Exercise Tropic Twilight to help Niue with rebuilding following the cyclone.

"John has a tremendous ability to inspire those around him and he has an impressive track record with New Zealand Post, one of New Zealand's biggest employers - around 17,500 New Zealanders work for New Zealand Post in some way . I am confident he will bring the momentum to the Employer Support Council that is required at these important initial stages."

Territorial Forces have a long and proud history in New Zealand. They began in the mid-nineteenth century when part-time militia and naval units were raised throughout the country. Air Force part-time units came to prominence after World War II.

Today, the Territorial Forces constitute a local community contribution to the security of New Zealand. Part-time military personnel served overseas in all the major operational commitments in the twentieth century, and they will become increasingly important in the twenty-first century.

"This appointment is another step in this governments commitment to building a modern, sustainable, well-equipped Defence Force," Mr Burton said.

ENDS

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