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Minister Fails To Act On Appointments

15 March 2005

Minister Fails To Act On Territorial Forces Employer Support Council Appointments

Despite being required by law changes which he brought into being in early 2004, Minister of Defence, Mark Burton has still not appointed the Territorial Force Employer Support Council one year on.

Changes to Volunteer Employment Protection languished under this Labour Government for four years from 2000 - 2004 while TF numbers plummeted from 3250 to 2205. Despite this, TF still managed to contribute significantly to peacekeeping missions such as East Timor. But the strain has been evident with significant gaps in key rank brackets.

As part of the final introduction into law of job protection for TF serving their country, the Defence Act was amended to require the Minister of Defence to appoint an Employer Support Council to advise the Minister and to promote the advantages of employing TF and reserve servicepeople.

“The fact that he has made numerous speeches on the Government’s commitment to TF, stated his pride in the new legislation and reinforced the importance of TF to NZ’s security framework makes his ‘nero-like speed’ on the Council appointments shameful,” said Reserves Forces Association spokesman Dr Simon Ewing-Jarvie.

The RFA is calling on the Minister to stop procrastinating and make the appointments that the Defence Act requires him to do.

ENDS

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