Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Defence Force letters insulting and insensitive

21 May 2013 MEDIA STATEMENT

Defence Force letters insulting and insensitive

Defence Force letters sent to personnel being made redundant under the Government’s botched civilianisation project were insensitive and insulting, says Phil Goff, Labour’s Defence spokesperson.

Mr Goff today released copies of the letters obtained under the Official Information Act.

“These letters were sent to 315 servicemen and women as a direct result of the Government’s decision to make cuts and find savings of up to $400 million a year. The Government planned to make 1400 experienced military personnel redundant and to fill their positions with cheaper civilian workers.

“The letters were drafted at Defence Force HQ and sent out over the objections of staff who were “shocked at their obviously controversial and unfeeling tone”. The Auditor General criticised these letters and the civilianisation project, saying it “led to a drop in morale and an increase in attrition resulting in reduced capability”.[i]

“I have finally received copies of the letters, after an OIA request submitted in February. It’s no wonder they did not wish to have the letters released.

“The tone of the letters lacks any sensitivity towards the long serving men and women who were learning for the first time that they were losing their jobs.

“The wording is formulaic, using phrases such as “you were assessed as minimally meets requirements” and “you were assessed as low potential” or had “low commitment to service.”

“That’s no way to treat people. Personnel who had served competently and loyally deserve much better than that. No wonder the whole civilianisation project was so bad for morale, which fell to an all-time low. It also pushed attrition to a record rate.

“The Defence Force owned up after the event admitting the “letters in some cases were telling good people they were bad” (see the Auditor General’s report).

“But the National Government has never apologised for the way good people were treated because of its desperation to save money and make cuts – and it stands condemned for that,” says Phil Goff.

ends

[i] Auditor General’s report “New Zealand Defence Force: The Civilianisation Project” – January 2013

Attached: Defence_Force_letters.pdf

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

2040 Target And Lower Standards: “Swimmable” Rivers Five Times More Likely To Make You Sick

Forest & Bird has condemned the government’s new water quality standards, warning New Zealanders that they lock in current levels of water pollution and allow for a 5-fold increase in the chance of getting sick from swimming in a river.

“Despite an explicit assurance from Minister Smith that the new water standards would provide for human and ecosystem health, he has failed to deliver on either of these things,” says Forest & Bird CEO Kevin Hague. More>>

 
 

Mayor: 750 New Social And Affordable Homes For Wellington

The next stage of Wellington’s Housing Upgrade Programme will see at least 750 new units of social and affordable housing built over the next decade, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>

ALSO:

22/2: Christchurch Quake Memorial Unveiled

A city, a region, a nation and an international community impacted by the Canterbury Earthquakes will come together to mark the sixth anniversary of the deadly quake and dedicate Oi Manawa Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial. More>>

ALSO:


November Quakes:

Gordon Campbell: On The Mana-Maori Party Deal

If the self-interest involved wasn’t so blatant, the electorate deal between the Maori Party and Hone Harawira would be kind of poignant. It’s a bit like seeing the remaining members of Guns’n’Roses or the Eagles back on the road touring the nostalgia circuit… playing all the old hits of Maori unity and kaupapa Maori politics. More>>

ALSO:

Private Provision: First Social Bond To Focus On Mental Health

New Zealand’s first social bond will help around 1700 people with mental illness into work, Finance Minister Steven Joyce and Social Investment Minister Amy Adams say. More>>

ALSO:

Immigration: Short Reprieve For Nine Indian Students

A temporary hold on deportations of nine Indian students is a step in the right direction but the Government urgently needs to implement safeguards to stop further injustices to more international students, the Green Party says. More>>

EARLIER:


Megaupload Case: High Court Rules Dotcom, Co-Accused Eligible For Extradion

Internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom and his three co-accused are eligible for extradition to the United States, New Zealand's High Court ruled... Justice Murray Gilbert upheld a decision by the District Court that there were grounds for Dotcom, Mathias Ortmann, Bram van der Kolk and Finn Batato to be extradited. More>>

ALSO:

PREVIOUSLY:

Port Hills Fire: Midday Update, Monday 20 February

• 9 homes destroyed
• 2 homes with partial damage. Damage includes things like cracked windows, heat damage.
• 3 properties with damage to other external structures e.g sheds or outbuildings More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news