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Defence Force morale on the rise

Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman

Minister of Defence

23 April 2013

Media Statement
Defence Force morale on the rise

Defence Minister Dr Jonathan Coleman says the latest Defence Force attitude survey shows morale is continuing to improve.

“The Labour opposition is referring to outdated survey data in an attempt to cast the Defence Force in a negative light. In fact the latest indicator results collated by the Defence Force are trending the right way,” said Dr Coleman.

“In the January to March quarter the survey shows morale, engagement, and intent to leave measures have all improved, reflecting an ongoing positive trend.”

“The results shows 79% of Defence Force people currently rate their personal morale as satisfactory or better (36% said satisfactory, 33% said good,10% said excellent). The same number, 79%, rated the morale of the workplace as satisfactory or better.”

“There has been a 7% improvement in Defence Force personal morale over the last five quarters,” he said.

“Some 80% of personnel rated their overall satisfaction with their careers in the Defence Force as satisfactory or better (38% said satisfactory, 33% said good, 9% said excellent),” said Dr Coleman.

“More importantly, the Defence Force says the survey is also a tool for predicting attrition. The continuing improvements in morale, engagement and intent to leave during the January to March 2013 quarter will reflect well for the future attrition rate.”

Dr Coleman says that the Regular Force attrition rate is currently at 16.11% just 2% above a traditional target zone of 12 – 14%.

“Defence Force leaders have been actively targeting morale and attrition and are having marked success through their strategies, which included the $40 million pay rise last year. Attrition in the Defence Force is now well within historical ranges, and is certainly lower today than at times while Labour was in charge.”

“Labour’s claims that these results have been ‘leaked’ to them are overstated. The results are made available internally to all 13,500 Defence Force members, and no restriction is placed on the documents. They have been on the Defence Force intranet site for a number of weeks.”

“The Labour Party continues to try to emphasis anything negative about the NZDF, I highly value our Defence Force people. The on the ground reality is that they are a very professional group who take great pride in their work. They need support, not Labour’s constant negative talk,” said Dr Coleman.


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