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Safety paramount for new Defence equipment

Hon Dr Wayne Mapp
Minister of Defence
4 August 2011

Safety paramount for new Defence equipment

The experience of the introduction into service of HMNZS Canterbury has led to much better procedures for introducing new equipment, Defence Minister Wayne Mapp said.

“The Defence Force has understood the lessons from the introduction into service of the Canterbury,” said Dr Mapp.

“Resolving the Canterbury contract was one of my first priorities as Minister of Defence,” he said.

There was an $NZ85 million settlement. All 14 rigid hull inflatable boats (RHIBs) are now of a superior and acceptable design.
Dr Mapp said, “Lessons learned with the Canterbury were applied by Defence to the subsequent acquisitions as part of Project Protector.

“Two off-shore patrol vessels and four in-shore patrol vessels have since been introduced successfully. Now that remedial work on the Canterbury is well advanced, she is also performing well.

“Having learned from the Canterbury experience, we are taking a much more measured approach to introducing the next round of new equipment into the NZDF – the A109 helicopters, and the upgrades of the Hercules and the Orions.

“The Defence Force operates its equipment in difficult environments. It is focused on safety, and ensuring it has robust training in place.”

Dr Mapp expressed his condolences to the Solomon and Carkeek families on the loss of Able Seaman Byron Solomon who drowned while training on HMNZS Canterbury.

ENDS

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