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Employer Support Council Launched

Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Defence

17 October 2006

Employer Support Council Launched

Defence Minister Phil Goff today officiated at a formal ceremony to mark the first meeting and launch of the Territorial Forces Employer Support Council.

"The Council was established under the Defence Act 1990 and aims to increase the effectiveness of New Zealand's territorial military forces by gaining and enhancing the support of employers.

"The council consists of a Chair, six regional chairs, a trade union representative, an employer representative, an education / training representative, a local government agency representative and the Director General of Reserve Forces.

"More than 2,400 Territorial military personnel work as part time members of the armed forces in addition to holding down other jobs or studying. The Employer Support Council will play a key role in informing employers about the benefits of part time military service to individuals and in turn to employers. These include work values, leadership, management and problem-solving abilities. The Council will also act as a valuable communications channel between employers organisations, communities and the military.

"The Territorial Forces are a vital addition to the regular forces of the Navy, Army and Air Force. The Territorial Force is also an excellent way for the military to access personnel with specialist trades and skills for operational deployments.

"As of 1 July 2006, there were 11,318 serving personnel in the New Zealand Defence Force and of these 23% were Territorial Force personnel.

"Since 1993, over 520 Territorial Force personnel have deployed to perform operational peacekeeping roles in the Sinai, Bougainville, East Timor, Bosnia, Sudan, Sierra Leone and Afghanistan. They have consistently demonstrated their skill and commitment in their roles", said Mr Goff.

ENDS


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