OAG findings to be part of Defence Review

  • Wayne Mapp

An Auditor-General's report tabled in Parliament today provides an opportunity to substantially improve the culture and management of the New Zealand Defence Force, Defence Minister Wayne Mapp says.

"Between 2001 and 2008, four New Zealand Defence Force officers seconded to the United Nations made false declarations to the UN to receive an accommodation allowance. Senior officers in the NZDF were aware of the practice and did not formally disapprove. Obedience took precedence over observation of the law, and the Office of the Auditor-General was asked to investigate," the Minister said.

"The military values of courage, commitment, comradeship and integrity are the cornerstone of service in our Defence Force.  The Chief of Defence Force is determined to ensure that these are fully understood and applied at the individual level.

"They must be matched by the core public sector values of operating within the law, honesty, integrity, transparency and accountability. This is the key finding of the report. The CDF and I expect senior leaders to set and meet a higher standard for the future," Dr Mapp said.

"The report also identifies complex organisational failings in the Defence Force. Policy process was slow and provided advice that was flawed or wrong," the Minister said.

"This report provides an opportunity to incorporate its recommendations in the Defence White Paper. I have sent it to the Ministerial Review Team working on the Defence Review, and to Dr Roderick Deane, who is undertaking the Value For Money report as part of the Defence Review.

"I have asked them to undertake a careful look at its content and bring through the Auditor-General's findings in their report. This will better equip the Defence Force to fulfil its roles in the years ahead.

"I expect the Defence Force to use this report to achieve and maintain the highest standards of organisational management," Dr Mapp said.