Your browser version is outdated. We recommend that you update your browser to the latest version.


SIGN UP to our free eNewsletter

Fields marked with * are required.


DEFSEC Media is New Zealand's defence, security and fire B2B/B2G publishing group. Our leading magazines, Line of DefenceNZ Security and Fire NZ are read by key business, government and military decision makers and influencers. This website is the online home of cutting-edge content from each of our titles.



01 April 2016

SITUATION REPORT is your weekly news digest covering NZ's frontline industries of defence, security and fire protection. This SITREP contains the following stories: 


$10 million for Fiji cyclone rebuild

Foreign Minister Murray McCully this week announced an NZD 10 million package to help Fiji repair public infrastructure following Cyclone Winston. “Of the funding announced today, $500,000 will used to supply building materials for projects being undertaken by the New Zealand Defence Force in the Lau Islands,” Mr McCully said.

“HMNZS Canterbury’s original deployment has been extended and it will now remain in the area until mid-April to support these construction tasks.

“The remaining funding will be used to rebuild schools, evacuation centres and medical facilities on Vanua Balavu and elsewhere in Fiji. This builds on the work we are already doing to help Fiji restore electricity infrastructure.

“We will also be working, through our wider aid programme in Fiji, to help stimulate the local economy by providing targeted support to the dairy sector and agricultural exporters,” Mr McCully stated.

This latest package brings total New Zealand aid to Fiji following Cyclone Winston to more than $15 million.

Back to top


NZ Pacific Research Institute launched

The New Zealand Pacific Research Institute (NZPRI) has just been launched as a New Zealand based Pacific think-tank aimed at supporting sustainable development in the region.

“The New Zealand Institute for Pacific Research (NZIPR) will work in support of Pacific governments and regional agencies, and will focus on producing the kind of hard-headed analysis that can support sustainable economic development,” said Foreign Minister Murray McCully.

“Our aim is for the NZIPR to become a centre of excellence for research on Pacific development, governance, public policy, and security issues.

“The Government has provided a cornerstone investment of $7.5 million over five years to establish the Institute and develop an initial programme of research,” said Mr McCully.

The NZIPR will be based at the University of Auckland. The research programme will be delivered by a consortium led by the University of Auckland, and including Otago University and the Auckland University of Technology.

For more information about the NZPIR please visit

Back to top



New Chief of Air Force announced

Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee announced on 22 March the appointment of Air Commodore Tony Davies, MNZM, as the new Chief of the Royal New Zealand Air Force.

Air Commodore Davies, is currently acting Chief of Air Force. He will shortly be promoted to Air Vice Marshal and a formal command appointment ceremony will be held on 20 April at Whenuapai. 

Air Commodore Davies career with the RNZAF started in 1984 when he joined as an Officer Cadet and trainee pilot. He has held many roles during his career, most recently as Assistant Chief Strategic Commitments and Engagements, and Air Component Commander at Headquarters Joint Forces NZ.

He has flown a number of aircraft types including C130 Hercules, Boeing 727s and Boeing 757s.

Mr Brownlee commented that Cabinet had approved his recommendation the day before the announcement, and he wishes to offer his congratulations to Air Commodore Davies. “It is a vital position and I’m sure that Air Commodore Davies will carry out his responsibilities well,” Mr Brownlee said.

Back to top


Canadian New Zealand Defence Ministers’ meet

Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee hosted the Canadian Defence Minister, Hon Harjit S. Sajjan, in Wellington on 31 March. Minister Sajjan was formally welcomed at Wellington’s Pukeahu National War Memorial Park.

The Ministers will discuss a range of regional and international security issues, including international efforts to counter Da’esh and deployments such as the Multinational Force and Observers in the Sinai.

“This is my second meeting with Minister Sajjan,” said Mr Brownlee, “and will provide a timely opportunity to discuss mutual defence and security issues on a bilateral basis.”

“Canada is one of New Zealand’s strongest international partners, and it is important that we stay closely in touch on key issues that impact us both.”

Back to top


Government confirms Taji objectives being achieved

Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee says Cabinet has received and accepted the review of the first nine months of the joint New Zealand-Australia mission to train Iraqi Defence Force personnel at Taji.

Task Group Taji’s Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission has trained over 4,000 Iraqi Army soldiers, including training and support to three Iraqi Army junior leadership courses. In total, trainers at five coalition BPC sites across Iraq have trained around 19,000 members of the Iraqi Security Forces since November 2014.

“Reporting indicates that after the initial nine months of the mission the training is having a tangible and positive impact on the ability of the Iraqi Army to take the fight to Daesh,” said Mr Brownlee.

“Units trained by the coalition’s numerous Building Partner Capacity missions are performing better than those that have not been through the training programme.” In addition to coalition reporting, the NZDF has been assessing the performance of its contribution to the BPC mission at Taji on a monthly basis.

The BPC training programme is centred on the provision of basic skills, which includes training in the laws of armed conflict, human rights, basic weapons handling, combat first aid, obstacle breaching techniques and planning for combat operations.

Three Iraqi Army junior non-commissioned officers courses have been completed with Task Group Taji support, and a fourth will begin shortly. Mr Brownlee says the course is particularly well regarded by the Iraqi Army leadership, and is a good example of how Task Group Taji have added value.

“Iraq needs and appreciates our support and instruction in helping them achieve freedom from Daesh, and New Zealanders can be very proud of what our troops are doing,” said Mr Brownlee.

Back to top



Record summer passenger numbers

In a 31 March media release, Customs Minister Nicky Wagner said the 2015-2016 summer season was the busiest in history, with a record number of travellers crossing the border and a record number of them using SmartGate.

“Passenger numbers reached record highs with almost 3.38 million passengers passing through international airports over summer, an increase of around 10 per cent on last summer,” stated Ms Wagner.

“SmartGate use also increased with 1.15 million passengers using the gates between December and February – a 15 percent increase on the previous year.

“The Government’s $6.6 million investment to more than double the number of SmartGates is already paying off. SmartGate capacity at Auckland Airport has been doubled with nine new next generation gates in departures, with more gates being rolled out around the country this year. Border checks at the new integrated gates take on average around 20 seconds.

“Not only is travel easier, Customs officers are also better able to keep the border safe by focusing on high-risk travellers. This approach has seen more drugs seized at the border during the summer period than ever before.

“Customs seized 855 drug packages compared to 771 last summer. A total of 74kg of meth was seized, plus a quarter tonne of precursors – almost double the amount seized last year.

“These drug seizures work hand in hand with the efforts of other law enforcement agencies, which has seen the street price of P remain stable, use rates remain below one percent, and the average age of users increase.

“The successful summer showcases the fantastic work of Customs officers at the frontline and behind the scenes who are keeping our border safe while making travel and trade hassle-free,” Ms Wagner said.

Back to top


Pacific Quota registrations open

Each year, up to 1,100 Samoan, 250 Tongan, 250 Fijian, 75 I-Kiribati and 75 Tuvaluan citizens are selected by ballot to be considered for the grant of residence in New Zealand. Registration for this year’s Samoan Quota and Pacific Access Category opens Friday, 1 April 2016 and closes at 4:00pm Friday, 29 April 2016.

Eligible citizens of these five countries must be aged between 18 and 45 to register under the ballot. The ballots will be drawn on 10 June 2016.

The successful registrants selected from the ballot process will have until 10 March 2017 to lodge their resident visa applications. The principal applicant must also have an acceptable job offer from a New Zealand employer.

Registering for the Samoan Quota is free, but there is a NZD 75 registration fee for the Pacific Access Category. For those who have registered in a previous year, this fee is reduced to NZD 30. An additional service fee of FJD 19 is payable for Fiji and Kiribati citizens registering in Fiji and an additional fee of AUD 12 is payable for Kiribati citizens registering in Kiribati.

Ballot registration forms and guides are available from the Immigration New Zealand website. Limited numbers of forms and guides are also available at the Immigration New Zealand offices in Suva, Nuku’alofa and Apia.

Back to top



New deported offenders law showing excellent results

Justice Minister Amy Adams has stated via a 16 March media release that the law managing returning offenders is helping keep New Zealanders safe.

The law passed by Parliament in November 2015 has resulted in approximately 70 percent of all deportees who have arrived since that date being supervised by New Zealand authorities.

“It’s pleasing to see that the laws we passed late last year are operating as intended and that the most serious deported offenders are being supervised to both ensure public safety and assist their re-integration into society,” Ms Adams stated.

Since the Act came into force on 18 November 2015 there had been 105 returning offenders as at 9 February. Of those, 73 have been found to be automatically eligible for supervision of varying periods.

The remaining 32 are not eligible for automatic supervision because they either served less than one year in prison or were deported on character grounds not relating to conviction. Of this group, there have been three successful applications to supervise offenders who are not automatically eligible.

More than 40 applications have been made for special conditions to be imposed by the courts.

“I’ve said throughout that while there is always a risk of reoffending, as there is with any offender who leaves prison, this law goes a long way to mitigate that risk for law-abiding New Zealanders. Early indications show the law is working as intended,” Ms Adams says.

All 105 returning offenders have had identifying particulars and DNA collected from them.

Back to top


New Timaru Community Corrections Site opens

The Department of Corrections’ new Timaru Community Corrections site was officially opened on 14 March. Rangitata MP Jo Goodhew represented the Crown at the opening of the building at 55 North Street, Timaru.

“The new site redevelopment, which cost NZD 2.4 million, is part of a $70 million nationwide renewal programme to make Community Corrections sites more secure and better equipped to support offenders to turn their lives around,” said Corrections Minister Judith Collins

“The new site will enable Corrections to provide more rehabilitation and educational programmes and it offers improved security and working conditions for staff.

“The site manages around 300 offenders on community-based sentences and orders including home detention and community work sentences.

“Community Corrections manages offenders to hold them to account, to comply with their sentences and orders, reduce their likelihood of reoffending, help them become productive members of society and keep local communities safe.

Back to top



ACSC 2016 Conference, Canberra, 12-14 April 2016

Due to the success of the 2015 conference, the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) conference will be held again in April 2016. The conference provides a key forum for keeping up-to-date with the latest trends, mitigations and advances in cyber security.

The conference will be held 12 – 14 April 2016 at the National Convention Centre, Canberra. More information is available on the conference website Registrations are now open.

In other ACSC news, the results of the first Cyber Security Survey conducted by the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) to better understand the cyber security posture and attitudes across some of Australia's systems of national interest have come in.

Industry data was collected from major Australian businesses that partner with CERT Australia, the national computer emergency response team. The businesses surveyed, says CERT, “underpin the social and economic welfare of Australia by delivering essential services such as banking and finance, defence industry providers, communications, energy, resources, transport and water.”

The survey results demonstrate that cyber security incidents continue to be commonplace and recurrent. Half the respondents reported experiencing at least one cyber incident that compromised the confidentiality, integrity or availability of a network’s data or systems in the last year.

Organisations are being targeted by a broad range of threats – particularly those designed to elicit money. While reported ransomware incidents have drastically increased, most other threat types have remained stable.

For more information, visit the ACSC website.

Back to top



Security struck by car after manhandling shopper

In a Christchurch District Court trial last week, 69-year-old Richard John Hewitson pleaded guilty to a charge of reckless driving causing injury in relation to an incident in which he reversed his car into a security guard.

According to press reports, the man had earlier been approached by the plain clothes security officer in St Martins New World supermarket at about 5pm on 01 July 2014. The officer had confronted him after he had allegedly placed a small packet of cheese into a satchel he was carrying and had attempted to leave the store without paying for it.

Security video footage apparently showed Mr Hewitson being held by either his shirt or throat and pushed against a wall by the security officer.

The incident continued in the car park following the confrontation. It is there that Mr Hewiston reversed his vehicle into the security officer, leading to the latter being pinned between the reversing car and another passing vehicle.

The security officer sustained a crush injury to his leg, requiring hospital treatment and six months of physiotherapy.

Judge Emma Smith accepted defence claims that Hewitson had been "somewhat manhandled" by the security officer but that he had acted recklessly in reversing his car into him.

Mr Hewiston was ordered by Judge Smith to undertake 200 hours of community work and to pay $1,000 emotional harm reparations to the security officer. He was also disqualified from driving for 13 months.

The cheese was never found.

Back to top


Security guard brutally kicked in head: teenager charged

AUSTRALIA: The family of a teenager accused of kicking a security guard in the head at a Perth music festival in February has lashed out at media and supporters of her son's alleged victim following his court appearance on 17 March.

18-year-old Martin Fulton is accused of kicking security guard Michael Rigby as he wrestled with an alleged fence jumper at the Good Life festival in the early evening of 29 February. Mr Fulton was charged with with assault occasioning bodily harm and trespass after a disturbing video of the kicking incident was posted to Facebook.

The video features the security guard and a young man wrestling on the grass. Shortly thereafter, another teenager dressed in a white shirt approaches and kicks the man in the face. A crowd of bystanders gasp immediately in horror.

The security guard appears knocked out by the brutal kick, his body is slumped forward into the ground. The first teenager breaks free from the guard's hold and punches him then flees the scene.

The footage sparked a tirade of responses on social media in support of the guard and decrying the brutality of the incident.

Back to top



New Board line-up to lead fire services sector

Internal Affairs Minister Hon Peter Dunne announced on 17 March a new line-up for the Board of the New Zealand Fire Service Commission to lead significant reform of the fire services sector.

From 1 April 2016, Dr Nicola Crauford, Peter Drummond, Te Arohanui Cook and current member Angela Hauk-Willis will join the newly appointed chair Hon Paul Swain on the Board.

“This new Board will lead a new organisation that is flexible, modern and efficient and that values and supports its volunteer and paid workforce. New Zealand’s fire services are facing the biggest changes to their structure in 70 years,” said Mr Dunne.

“The new Board members bring experience in either rural or urban fire services, governance and change management, and have strong links with their communities,” he said. The Board will be responsible for ensuring that the new national organisation responds to the needs of its regional and local communities.

“I expect to have funding arrangements for the new organisation confirmed in the next couple of months, and legislation introduced into the House, with the new organisation being set up in mid-2017.”

Dr Crauford has been appointed as Deputy Chair for a three-year term. She will resign from her role as Chair of the Wellington Rural Fire Authority upon taking up her appointment. Apart from her knowledge of the volunteer and rural fire sector and fire engineering experience, she also has strong governance skills.

Peter Drummond has extensive experience in the fire services sector and was a member of the Fire Review Panel that was a precursor to the review done last year. He is a former chair of the United Fire Brigades’ Association.

Te Arohanui Cook has held roles as a Principal Rural Fire Officer, an Assessor with the Fire and Rescue Services Industry Training Organisation (ITO), and on the ITO Board.  Ms Cook also has senior firefighting experience.

Angela Hauk-Willis has been re-appointed for two years. Ms Hauk-Willis has held senior governance and change management roles, including at the Independent Police Conduct Authority, the 2020 Communications Trust, and 11 years as Deputy Secretary of the Treasury.

The New Zealand Fire Service Commission is a Crown entity responsible for the New Zealand Fire Service, and it also acts as the National Rural Fire Authority.

Back to top

Follow us

We recommend on YouTube...


Contact Defsec Media

Phone: 022 366 3691


© 2015. Defsec Media Limited. All Rights Reserved.



About us






Line of Defence     

Fire NZ     

NZ Security