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Leaked Memo Blames Government For Civilianisation

Labour Foreign Affairs, Trade and Defence Spokesman

28 February 2013 MEDIA STATEMENT
Leaked Memo Blames Government For Civilianisation

A leaked memo from the Chief of Defence Force places responsibility for record attrition and low morale in the NZDF on the Government’s policy to civilianise military positions, says Labour’s spokesperson on Defence, Phil Goff.

“The memo from Lieutenant General Rhys Jones, blames the civilianisation programme as a key factor in increased attrition and lower morale in the NZDF.

“It states that the changes, which led to huge staffing losses, were unavoidable because of National’s requirement in its 2010 Defence White Paper to transfer a significant number of jobs from uniform to civilian posts.

“While the memo acknowledges that the Defence Force’s botched implementation of this policy made matters worse, it makes clear that the NZDF was bound to implement the civilianisation process.

“This breached the social contract the Defence Force had with its members, who in turn for having no union representation or right to negotiate, relied on the Defence Force and Government to look after them.

“The Government and the Defence Force lost over a thousand Defence staff last year, reducing the Regular Force to its lowest level in more than a decade.

“Morale plummeted to the lowest level since surveys began and attrition reached the highest levels in recent history, peaking at over 21 per cent.

“While attrition has fallen to just under 18 per cent, this is twice where it was in 2009. More than a quarter of the Defence Force has quit and a massive 40 per cent have signalled their intention to leave.

“National and its hapless Minister of Defence must accept ultimate responsibility for this debacle,” Phil Goff said.

Click here to read: NZDF_CDF_Memo_30_Jan_2013.pdf



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