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

 

North & South alleges heinous crimes in our armed forces

ALLEGATIONS OF WAR CRIMES, SEXUAL ASSAULTS AND COVER-UPS INSIDE OUR ARMED FORCES

Special investigation by Nicky Hager for North & South magazine.

Disturbing new allegations of war crimes and sexual violence inside New Zealand’s armed forces – alongside dangerous binge drinking, bullying and a crisis of post-deployment mental health problems – are revealed in investigative journalist Nicky Hager’s exclusive report for North & South magazine.

A string of current and ex-New Zealand Defence Force staff have contacted Hager since the book he co-authored with Jon Stephenson – Hit & Run – was published in March 2017.“The men and women who contacted me are all thoughtful people who are not happy about the culture of impunity in our armed forces and the cover-ups they witnessed,” says Hager.

His 12-page story in the new North & South (on sale 15 October) describes in detail an incident in Afghanistan – not covered in Hit & Run – that saw an NZSAS medic awarded a New Zealand Gallantry Decoration despite his breaching of NZDF and Geneva Convention rules in a raid that resulted in the deaths of two village boys, among other casualties. In actions that might otherwise have seen the Kiwi soldier court-martialled – medics are strictly required to keep out of offensive actions – he was instead given a medal and the incident was covered up.

The former Special Air Services (SAS) member, who reported the Afghanistan incident to Hager, said: “The SAS is the extreme end of thinking they’re above the law, that they don’t have to be accountable to others…We can say we never committed war crimes, but we have.”

The current and former Defence Force members who shared their stories with Hager also described an extreme drinking culture in New Zealand bases and in Afghanistan – in defiance of that country’s dry theatre of operations. Sexual abuse and domestic violence within the Defence Force are regularly covered up, Hager’s sources said, and mental health problems have created a “ticking time bomb”.

Most disturbing, says Hager, is an NZDF culture that sees serious allegations denied rather than confronted, a PR machine intent on burying bad news and a climate of fear and intimidation. “Most New Zealanders have no idea what goes on inside the Defence Force,” he says, “and this secrecy is a big part of the reason why all sorts of worrying things can occur.” ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Pike River: Mine Drift Re-Entry Plan To Proceed

The Pike River Mine Drift will be re-entered, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little announced today.

“I’ve decided the Te Kāhui Whakamana Rua Tekau Mā Iwa - Pike River Recovery Agency, recommended course of action to enter the drift, using the existing access tunnel, is by far the safest option,” said Andrew Little...

“The advice I have received indicates that it is likely to be around February before the re-entry proper gets underway, by breaching the 30m seal.” More>>

 

Appointments: New High Commissioner To Australia Announced

“Dame Annette King needs no introduction given her long running career as a parliamentarian where she has previously held a number senior Cabinet portfolios, including Justice, Police and Health. She also was Parliament’s longest serving female MP with 30 years’ service,” said Mr Peters. More>>

ALSO:

Rebuilding: Silvia Cartwright To Lead Inquiry Into EQC

“The inquiry will be the first of its kind under the Public Inquiries Act 2013 and will have all the powers of a Royal Commission, be independent of Government and make its report directly to the Governor-General. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Royal Commission Into Child Abuse

Obviously, it is good news that the coalition government has broadened the scope of its Royal Commission into the abuse of children, beyond its previous focus on children in state care. More>>

ALSO:

Cases Delayed: Court Staff Refuse To Handle Sentencing Papers

Dozens of court cases have reportedly been delayed, as court staff escalate industrial action at two Auckland courts by enforcing a ban on handling sentencing papers. More>>

ALSO:

Education: Primary Teachers Rolling Strikes

RNZ Report: More than 100,000 primary school students in Auckland will be home from school today as teachers and principals walk off the job for the second time this year. It's the start of a week of rolling one-day strikes around the country, after the collapse of contract negotiations last Thursday. More>>

ALSO:

"Process Was Sound": Inquiry Into Haumaha Appointment Released

The Inquiry’s purpose was to examine, identify, and report on the adequacy of the process that led to the appointment. It found the process was sound and no available relevant information was omitted. More>>

ALSO:

Govt Loses In Supreme Court: Call For Debate On Prisoners' Right To Vote

The court earlier this week upheld a High Court decision which found that a law restricting a prisoner's right to vote was inconsistent with the Bill of Rights. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels