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

 

Parliament Today:

Werewolf: The Defence Pretence

Last year, the world began spending more money on weapons again, for the first time since 2011... New Zealand belongs to a region – Asia and Oceania – where military spending rose sharply in 2015, by 5.4 per cent. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Not Crying Foul, Argentina

So a couple of guys found to be criminally liable of environmental pollution in Argentina lodge an application with the Overseas Investment Office… in order to buy some prime New Zealand rural land. Seems that their factory back home had carelessly and/or intentionally discharged toxic waste into the Lujan river. Bummer... More>>

ALSO:

Urban & Rural: $303m To Merge And Modernise New Zealand’s Fire Services

Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne today announced funding of $303 million over five years to combine urban and rural fire services into one organisation from mid-2017. More>>

ALSO:

High Trust Regime: What Did The PM Tell His Lawyer About Foreign Trusts?

The Government stopped the IRD from reviewing New Zealand foreign trusts shortly after the Prime Minister’s lawyer wrote to the Revenue Minister claiming John Key had promised him the regime would not be changed. More>>

ALSO:

Road Crime: Wicked Campers Vans Classified As Objectionable

The definition of publication includes any "thing that has printed or impressed upon it, or otherwise shown upon it, 1 or more (or a combination of 1 or more) images, representations, signs, statements, or words", The Classification Office has previously classified such 'things' as billboards, t-shirts, and even a drink can. This is the first time the Classification Office has classified a vehicle. More>>

ALSO:

'When New' Repairs: Landmark EQC Settlement

The Earthquake Commission has cut a deal with 98 Canterbury homeowners that affirms the government entity's responsibility to repair earthquake-damaged property to a 'when new' state, as well as covering repairs for undamaged parts of a property and clarifying its position on cash settlement calculations. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Kiwirail’s Latest Stint In The Dogbox

The denigration of Kiwirail continues. The latest review (based on a 2014 assessment) of the options facing the company have enabled Kiwirail to be hung out to dry once again as a liability and burden on the taxpayer. More>>

ALSO:

Royal Society Report: Good Opportunities To Act Now On Climate Change

There are many actions New Zealand can and should take now to reduce the threat of climate change and transition to a low-carbon economy, a report released today by the Royal Society of New Zealand finds... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news