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Defence Force run down, undervalued


Spokesperson for Defence
9 September 2014 MEDIA STATEMENT

Defence Force run down, undervalued

New Zealand Defence Force personnel numbers have been slashed by around 1200 and have been given just one general pay rise over a six year period, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.

“For the Defence Minister to claim in his policy that he values the work of the personnel who are the Defence Forces’ most important asset is frankly hypocrisy,” Phil Goff said.

“The Auditor General reported last year that record attrition rates and low morale were the result of the Government breaching its social contract with its Defence Force employees. She was right.

“The Defence Minister has refused to answer my Parliamentary questions about when the Defence Force would get a pay rise after just one adjustment in six years. His Office now says that it can’t answer because Parliament has been dissolved.

“What this shows is a consistent refusal by the Minster to be upfront and honest about the Government’s track record of treating its own employees.

“That treatment saw a huge loss of skilled and experienced personnel in 2011/2012 which the former Chief of Defence Force said it would take seven years to rebuild and recover from.

“The current state of the Defence Force was exposed in this year’s Defence Estimates when Government admitted it could not sustain an overseas peacekeeping deployment for more than one year,” Phil Goff said.

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