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

Gordon Campbell:
On The National Leadership “Contest”

Key’s endorsement of English has turned this “contest” into a race for second place.

This succession was well planned. Lets not forget that English was told by Key in September of his intention to resign, and English was the only member of Cabinet entrusted with that information before it was sprung on everyone else on Monday morning. More>>

Latest: Judith Collins and Jonathan Coleman have withdrawn from the leadership race, leaving Bill English the only candidate to replace John Key as Prime Minister.

 

Education: Charter Schools Misleading Pass Rates

Labour: NCEA results for charter schools have been massively overstated... In one case a school reported a 93.3 per cent pass rate when the facts show only 6.7 per cent of leavers achieved NCEA level two. More>>

ALSO:

Rebstock Report Resolution: SSC Apologises To Derek Leask And Nigel Fyfe

Following a complaint by Mr Leask, the Ombudsman found that the State Services Commission acted unreasonably in relation to Mr Leask and identified numerous deficiencies in the investigation process and in the publication of the final report and in the criticisms it contained of Mr Leask... More>>

ALSO:

International Rankings: Student Results 'Show More Resourcing Needed'

NZEI: New Zealand had only held relatively steady in international rankings in some areas because the average achievement for several other OECD countries had lowered the OECD average -- not because our student achievement has improved. More>>

ALSO:

Earlier:

Salvation Army Report: Beyond The Prison Gate Report

A new Salvation Army report says changes must be made to how prisoners re-enter society for New Zealanders to feel safe and secure in their homes and communities. More>>

ALSO:

Surprise Exit: Gordon Campbell On The Key Resignation

The resignation of John Key is one thing. The way that Key and his deputy Bill English have screwed the scrum on the leadership succession vote (due on December 12) is something else again. It remains to be seen whether the party caucus – ie, the ambitious likes of Steven Joyce, Judith Collins, Paula Bennett, and Amy Adams – will simply roll over... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news