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Independent Review: HMNZS Canterbury will deliver

MoD and NZDF Media Release

12 September 2008

Independent Review: HMNZS Canterbury will deliver for Navy

An independent review into the acquisition and introduction into service of HMNZS Canterbury has concluded that the ship will be a valuable asset for our Navy.

Earlier this year the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) commissioned a Review from John Coles, formerly Chief Executive of the UK MoD’s Warship Support Agency.

His findings were released today. The Review has not identified any new design or performance issues beyond those already identified by Defence, and concludes that with remedial action HMNZS Canterbury will “be able to discharge all her operational roles as required in the Functional and Performance Specification (FPS)”.

The Review also found HMNZS Canterbury to be an “intrinsically safe” ship, and confirmed that there was no connection between design and performance issues and the tragic death last year of sailor Byron Solomon.

Responding to the Review, the Secretary of Defence John McKinnon and Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant General Mateparae, said an improvement programme for HMNZS Canterbury had begun, with some of the remedial work having already been completed.

“The gap between where the HMNZS Canterbury is currently at, and where it needs to be in terms of performance can be closed and we look forward to prompt action by the contractor in addressing outstanding issues” says Chief of Defence Force Mateparae.

The Review also identified a number of lessons that MoD and NZDF need to take on board when managing large acquisition projects.

“We believe the Review’s assessment that this project could have been managed far better, is a fair assessment,” says Secretary of Defence McKinnon. “The key finding in this respect, is that the size, mix of skills, and level of resourcing of the Project Team has been shown to be inadequate.”

The two Defence chief executives said the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) are committed to implementing all of the remedial actions identified.

The Defence sector leaders say projects of the size and complexity of the HMNZS Canterbury acquisition do not come along frequently for the Defence sector, so MoD and NZDF are determined the important lessons gained from this project are implemented to inform future acquisition projects.

“We must and will do better in the future,” says Secretary of Defence McKinnon. “It is important that the recommendations of the Coles’ Review are implemented and we have committed to doing that.”


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