Report of the Government Inquiry into Operation Burnham released

Defence Minister Ron Mark today welcomed the release of the Report of the Government Inquiry into Operation Burnham and related matters, and the Government response. 

“I thank the Inquiry for their thorough and detailed report, on a highly complex issue. I accept the recommendations of the report, and fully support the Government response.

 “At the time of the commissioning of the Inquiry, I had full confidence in the women and men of the Defence Force who serve on the frontline, often in highly dangerous and complex situations, and in places where no other member of New Zealand society would find themselves in.

“I am pleased to say that this remains the case.

“However, the findings of the report make it clear that the women and men on the frontline of our Defence Force were let down by their senior commanders, whose post operation performance showed serious deficiencies.   

“The New Zealand Defence Force have acknowledged and accepted responsibility for these failings. I continue to have confidence in the Chief of Defence Force and his leadership team, and their commitment to transparency and accountability.

 “As Minister of Defence, I will oversee and drive the Government response where it relates to the Defence portfolio. This work is critically important, and urgent, to maintain public confidence in the Defence Force, and to ensure that lessons are applied, and that the relevant structures and institutions are fit for purpose,” said Ron Mark.