Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Lessons of Anzac Day Crash Stay with Defence Force

Media Release

18 July 2014

Lessons of Anzac Day Crash Stay with Defence Force

The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) pleaded guilty in the Wellington District Court today to a charge under the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992, of failing to take all practicable steps to ensure its people were not exposed to the hazard of a helicopter accident while at work.

The NZDF has accepted responsibility and unreservedly apologised for failing to prevent the Iroquois crash at Pukerua Bay, near Wellington, on 25 April 2010. The accident claimed the lives of three Royal New Zealand Air Force personnel: Flight Lieutenant Hayden Madsen, Flying Officer Dan Gregory and Corporal Ben Carson; and seriously injured a fourth, Sergeant (SGT) Stevin Creeggan.

“As an organisation we did not do all that we could to ensure a safe working environment for our people,” said Chief of Air Force Air Vice-Marshal (AVM) Mike Yardley outside the court today.

“We have pleaded guilty to failing to prevent this accident and we have unreservedly apologised for our shortcomings. I reiterate that apology to all of the next of kin and to SGT Creeggan,” he said.

“The effect of this tragedy on the families of those lost, and on SGT Creeggan, will never go away. The only amends Defence can make is to ensure that the lessons of this tragedy also never go away. We have committed wholeheartedly to do that: part of the legacy of this accident has been a complete overhaul of the Defence Force’s approach to safety.

“We owe that to the crew of Iroquois Black 2, we owe it to the families, and we owe it to our Defence Force,” he said.

STATEMENT BY THE CHIEF OF AIR FORCE, AIR VICE-MARSHAL MIKE YARDLEY

“The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) and the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) have taken responsibility today for the circumstances which led to the Iroquois accident that occurred on 25 April 2010.

“This accident claimed the lives of three RNZAF personnel - Flight Lieutenant Hayden Madsen, Flying Officer Dan Gregory and Corporal Ben Carson; and seriously injured a fourth, Sergeant (SGT) Stevin Creeggan.

“As an organisation we did not do all that we could to ensure a safe working environment for our people. We have pleaded guilty for failing to prevent this accident and we have unreservedly apologised for our shortcomings. And I reiterate that apology to all of the next of kin and to Sergeant Creeggan.

“Safety, in any workplace, military or civilian, in peacetime or in combat, requires constant vigilance. It is not enough just to have systems and processes in place. We did not maintain the constant effort required to update, monitor and check our safety systems, and so we failed to prevent this tragedy and we failed our people.

“The failure here cannot be laid at the door of any one person, or small group: it was organisational. A variety of related flaws in our systems failed to prevent a fatal event.

“The effect of this tragedy on the families of those lost, and on SGT Creeggan, will never go away. The only amends Defence can make is to ensure that the lessons of this tragedy also never go away. We have committed wholeheartedly to do that: part of the legacy of this accident has been a complete overhaul of the Defence Force’s approach to safety.

“The Chief of Defence Force has established a Defence-wide Directorate of Health and Safety. This new group is a focal point for all health and safety issues across the NZDF.

“In the Air Force, our Flying Orders have been completely re-written. Improved risk-management assessments for all flights have been introduced, and a new operating airworthiness unit has been put in place to supervise the management and safety of all air operations at Ohakea, in line with similar units at our other bases.

“When I became Chief of Air Force earlier this year I said that I looked forward to guiding a modern, innovative and capable Air Force. A cornerstone of such an Air Force is ensuring that we meet our duty of care for our people, and that they can trust us to do so. I have reviewed the actions we have taken to achieve that and I am confident that the message that safety is paramount is now permanently embedded in our systems and our culture.

“We have to be an organisation that is looking far ahead for risks to our people, long before they become an accident. We owe it to the crew of Iroquois Black 2, we owe it to the families, and we owe it to our Defence Force and the New Zealand people.”

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Asylum: Dunne Accepts Hundreds Of Postcards On Refugee Categories

Minister Peter Dunne today accepted over 800 postcards calling for convention refugees to have the same entitlements as quota refugees... The campaign has been run with ActionStation together with LUSH Cosmetics, with postcards being signed in stores around New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

Reshuffle: PM Announces Changes To Ministerial Portfolios

Prime Minister Bill English today announced the appointment of Gerry Brownlee as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nathan Guy as Minister of Civil Defence, Nikki Kaye as Minister of Education and Mark Mitchell as Minister of Defence. More>>

ALSO:

Q+A Transcript: CTU Call For 'National Standards' On Wages

‘If you look at countries who do better than us, who pay wages better, who have more competitive industries, more successful economies, they have systems where there are national standards.’ More>>

ALSO:

Energy: Greens Launch Plan For Cheaper And Cleaner Electricity

$112 million for winter warm-up payments to help low-income households cover their power bills • setting a goal for 100 percent renewable electricity by 2030 (in average hydrological conditions) • an investigation into the electricity wholesale market. More>>

ALSO:

Health Workers Respond: People's Mental Health Report Released

The People's Mental Health Review reinforces a recent YesWeCare.nz survey of 6,000 health workers, which found nine in 10 believe they don't have the staff or resources to deliver the care Kiwis need when they need it. More>>

ALSO:

More Mental Health:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news