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

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Gordon Campbell: The PM’s Hair-Pulling Power Trip

There have been striking differences between (a) the account of the waitress involved in the hair-pulling incidents, and (b) the account being given by Prime Minister John Key. The version by the waitress is available here and is recommended to anyone yet to read it. By her account, there were multiple instances of hair-pulling and these persisted and persisted long after she had made her annoyance clear to Key – who had also been advised by his wife, and by other café staff that the behavior was evidently not being welcomed. More>>

ALSO:

War: What’s To Commemorate?

Gordon Campbell in Werewolf: Is there anything that can be validly commemorated on this 100th anniversary of Gallipoli? Beyond, that is, a fleeting sense of empathy with the thousands of soldiers killed or wounded on April 25 1915 and in the months thereafter, until the whole thing was finally called off in December 1915. More>>

MORE IN WEREWOLF:

ALSO:

Peter Ellis Case: Minister Declines Request For Commission Of Inquiry

Justice Minister Amy Adams has declined a request from supporters of Peter Ellis for a Commission of Inquiry on the basis that an inquiry cannot be used to determine the liability of any person. More>>

Quakes: New Process For Red Zone Crown Offers

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee has announced a process to give everyone a say on the Crown offers to owners of vacant, commercial/industrial and uninsured properties in the Residential Red Zone. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Battle Obama Is Waging Over The TPP

For the past two and a half years, this column has been arguing that the fate of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal will hinge on whether US President Barack Obama can win Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) from Congress... Last week, the White House finally, finally unveiled a draft TPA Bill. More>>

ALSO:

Greens: Govt Breaks Free Doctors Visit Promise To Kids

Documents obtained by the Green Party show that the Government decided to fund only 90 percent of doctors’ visits for children suffering from an injury in an attempt trim the cost of the so-called “free” visits. More>>

ALSO:

Other Wars: Extension Of NZDF Commitment In Afghanistan

The New Zealand Defence Force’s commitment of mentors and support staff to the Afghan National Army Officer Academy in Afghanistan has been extended out to December 2016, Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee says. More>>

PM's Press Conference: Auckland Property Prices Increasing "Too Rapidly"

John Key accepted that Auckland property prices 'are going up too rapidly” in a press conference held today in Wellington, however he said that this is not anything new. More>>

ALSO:

Press Conference: ANZAC PMs Concerned About ISIL Bringing The War Home

Prime Minister Key and Prime Minister Abbott spoke of the bond formed between Australia and New Zealand in the “baptism of fire” of Gallipoli. Abbott stated that New Zealand and Australia’s values and interests are linked, and this is reflected in the joint operation in Iraq which will begin shortly. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news