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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.



04 March 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: 


2016 Australian Defence White Paper released

The 2016 Defence White Paper released on 25 February 2016 is said to deliver on the Government’s commitment to the safety of the Australian people and to the defence of Australia’s territory and national interests.

The White Paper sets out a comprehensive, long term plan for Australia’s defence, which includes a commitment to raising defence expenditure to 2 percent of Australia’s GDP within the next several years and committing hundreds of billions of dollars to building military capabilities.

A key difference between this White Paper and previous ones is that its plans have been cost-assured and externally validated. Australia’s defence strategy and capability plans have been aligned with funding which, according to the Department of Defence, is affordable and achievable.

For the first time, all elements of the investment in defence, including new weapons, platforms, systems, and the enabling equipment, facilities, workforce, information and communications technology, and science and technology are outlined in an Integrated Investment Program, published with the White Paper.

The Defence Industry Policy Statement released with the White Paper acknowledges the fundamental contribution that Australian industry provides to defence capability, and it will refocus Defence’s relationship with Australian industry to support the plans in the White Paper.

Increased defence funding will grow to two per cent of GDP by 2020-21 - three years ahead of the Government’s 2013 election commitment. The Government’s funding plan provides $29.9 billion more to Defence over the period to 2025-26 than previously planned, enabling approximately $195 billion of new investment in defence capabilities over this period.

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Defence to wring a few more years from Collins submarines

According to an article by David Wroe in the Sydney Morning Herald (01/03/2016), the Royal Australian Navy’s Collins class submarines will be specially maintained to fill a gap between when the existing fleet needs to be retired and when replacements are built.

The fleet's operational life will need to be extended and its systems upgraded, extending it well beyond its planned retirement starting about 2026. "We're not going to retire them and then have no boats in the water or reduced boats in the water," Air Chief Marshal Binskin has stated.

Two of the Collins submarines will likely have to go through full cycle docking maintenance, and some form of upgrading would need to be undertaken in relation to all six.

The recently published Defence White Paper has revealed that twelve replacement submarines on will not come into operation until the early 2030s.

The government's decision on a replacement submarine is being guided by a "competitive evaluation process" managed by the Department of Defence and established under the former Abbott Government. Mr Abbot has recently publically voiced his preference for a Japanese bid.

According to Abbot, bids from Germany and France were ‘commercial’, and that the US might fail to supply its most advance weapons systems if the Japanese bid is not successful.

Independent Senator Nick Xenophon commented that Abbott’s remarks "show a breathtaking contempt for the competitive evaluation process".

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Fiji Mission one of NZDF's Largest Peacetime Deployments to Pacific

According to a 26 February NZDF media release, close to 500 combat engineers, soldiers, sailors and aircrew have now been deployed for the humanitarian aid operation in cyclone-ravaged Fiji, making it one of the New Zealand Defence Force’s largest peacetime deployments to the Pacific.

“Now that the Fiji Government has a better picture of the scale of the devastation, it is clear more help is needed,” said Major General Tim Gall, the Commander Joint Forces New Zealand.

“Fiji is a close neighbour of New Zealand, and the NZDF stands ready to continue supporting the New Zealand Government’s assistance to Fiji as it recovers from the cyclone.”

The multi-role vessel HMNZS Canterbury sailed for Fiji late Sunday 28 February with 293 military personnel, including Army engineers and medical staff, two NH90 multi-role helicopters, a Seasprite helicopter, vehicles and hundreds of tonnes of additional aid.

Around 50 Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) personnel are expected to arrive in Fiji on Wednesday in addition to the 293 on board Canterbury, and the 144 who are already helping with the Pacific Islands nation’s disaster relief efforts.

MAJGEN Gall said HMNZS Canterbury will serve as the maritime base for the NZDF’s post-disaster recovery operations in Fiji’s northern outer islands, where food, water and shelter remain the most pressing needs.

“We are working alongside the Republic of Fiji Military Forces, the Australian Defence Force and the French military in getting aid supplies to affected people in these hard-to-reach areas,” MAJGEN Gall said.

The Royal New Zealand Navy’s offshore patrol vessel HMNZS Wellington is currently in the northern Lau group of islands to deliver around 60 tonnes of aid supplies and identify beaches that will be suitable for Canterbury’s landing craft operations. Seven New Zealand Army engineers, three logisticians and an environmental health specialist are also on board Wellington to assist in the disaster relief efforts.

“Less than 24 hours after the cyclone struck Fiji, an Air Force P-3K2 Orion surveillance aircraft conducted aerial surveys to provide Fijian officials with a clearer picture of the damage caused by the cyclone. We had people on the ground working with the Fijian authorities in assessing the extent of the devastation,” MAJGEN Gall said.

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Migration Control World Summit to take place next week

Adelaide will play host next week to the Migration Control World Summit. The Summit will take place on March 8 and 9 at the Adelaide Convention Centre.

Convened by Dr John Bruni of SAGE International and Mark Ryan of Global Impact Solutions, the Summit is aimed at providing a neutral setting where solutions can be sought beyond the politicization that often characterises the issue of immigration.

The program of speakers set to address the Summit on March 8 and 9 is drawn evenly from around the world. Organisers are keen to canvas the refugee issue not just from the perspective the recipients countries of the West but also from the perspective of thinkers from source countries.

Prominent speakers include Dr. Huda al-Nuaimy, Director of the Al-Rawabet Center for Research and Strategic Studies in Amman, Jordan; Indonesian Ambassador to Australia Nadjib Riphat Kesoema, who is also a co-chair of the Bali Process; and Demetrios G. Papademetriou, President Emeritus of the Migration Policy Institute (MPI), a Washington-based think tank.

Oranisers also plan to unveil a world-first concept as part of the Summit – a tool for mapping potential migration strategies that would allow policymakers to experiment with different approaches prior to implementing them. This project has been carried out in partnership with Dr Azhal Iqbal -Adjunct Senior Lecturer in Applied Mathematics at the University of Adelaide.

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Ocean Protector boosts Australia’s border protection

According to a 01 March Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection media release, the ADV Ocean Protector has successfully completed its first assignment and is currently moored at Cocos (Keeling) Islands for a change of crew and resupply before heading back out to sea to patrol the waters off north-western Australia targeting illegal activity including, people smuggling and illegal fishing.

In January, the government acquired the ADV Ocean Protector to provide further capability to safeguard the security of our maritime borders. It is a unique vessel, owned and operated by the Australian Defence Force, utilising highly trained and qualified Australian Border Force (ABF) Maritime Enforcement Officers.

ADV Ocean Protector is the sister ship of the large-hulled Australian Border Force Cutter (ABFC) Ocean Shield and now forms part of an enhanced fleet of vessels ensuring Australian waters remain secure for decades to come.

According to Commander Maritime Border Command, Rear Admiral Peter Laver, the ABF’s mission to protect Australia’s maritime domain had been significantly boosted by the entry to service of the vessel. “This vessel significantly increases our reach and capability in the region,” Rear Admiral Laver said.

“Maritime Border Command’s responsibilities include countering illegal maritime arrivals; illegal foreign fishing; illegal activity in protected areas; piracy, robbery and violence at sea; prohibited imports and exports; marine pollution; biosecurity; and maritime terrorism."

Ocean Protector previously served Australia as the Australian Customs Vessel (ACV) Ocean Protector from 2010 to 2014, conducting maritime border security patrols throughout Australia’s maritime domain from Christmas Island to the Southern Ocean.

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PM: ISC receives intelligence and security review

Prime Minister and Chair of the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) John Key has confirmed that the report of the Independent Review of Intelligence and Security has been received by members of the ISC on 29 February.

“I would like to thank the independent reviewers, Sir Michael Cullen and Dame Patsy Reddy, for their work on this report,” said Mr Key. “After the report has been tabled in Parliament, the Government can begin working on its response.”

The independent review was commissioned to consider whether the legislative frameworks of the intelligence and security agencies are well placed to protect New Zealand’s current and future national security, while protecting individual rights.

The review also assessed whether the current oversight arrangements provide sufficient safeguards to ensure the intelligence and security agencies act lawfully and maintain public confidence.

The ISC will meet on 8 March 2016 to consider the report and determine when it will be tabled in Parliament.

The Prime Minister said it was “highly likely” that legislative changes would result from the review process, stating that he would want bipartisan support for these changes. There exists a general understanding, he says, that the current legislation is not fit for purpose.

It is, however, unlikely that any legislation coming out of the review would be published this year. Select committee meetings on the review will not be open to the public or media.

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Hands-on emergency services opportunity for youth

According to a 01 March press release by Northland Emergency Management, fifteen young people will get the chance to build hands-on emergency services skills in a special Bream Bay training programme that kicks off this weekend.

The participating youngsters have been specially nominated from within the Bream Bay and surrounding communities to take part in the national Youth in Emergency Services (YES) programme.

This weekend they will begin their hands-on programme meeting up with the NZ Fire service and Whangarei District Rural Fire Authority. The students will experience the work of other key local emergency services including Coastguard, St John, NZ Red Cross, NZ Police and Ruakaka Surf Lifesaving during the balance of their four week programme.

Shona Morgan, spokesperson for Northland’s YES co-ordinating work group, says the programme is designed to strengthen the connection between young people and their communities and is funded by the Ministries of Youth Development and Civil Defence and Emergency Management.

Ms Morgan says the young Northlanders taking part in this year’s programme (all aged between 15 and 18) have been nominated for the programme by local schools.

Emergency scenarios and an exercise based on a mock disaster will be among the programme features. She says as well as encouraging a more active participation in their local communities, the programme helps participants develop a number of useful practical skills.

“For some it will also be a crucial initial step in what could eventually become further involvement in the emergency services field, either as a volunteer or as part of a paid career. It also enables a greater appreciation from the communities themselves about the value and contribution their young people can make.”

Meanwhile, she says at the conclusion of the programme, participants will be offered the opportunity to volunteer for two months with the emergency service of their choice.

She says as well as encouraging a more active participation in their local communities, the YES programme also helps participants develop useful practical skills as well as encouraging them to volunteer.

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Police cave rescuers test skills for real during Takaka Hill exercise

According to Police News, participants taking part in a Deep Cave Search and Rescue Exercise (SAREX) on Takaka Hill near Motueka unexpectedly put their skills into action early in the morning of 28 February when a participant was injured while helping lift a stretcher with a make believe patient.

The caver fell a short distance and injured his left lower leg. He was assisted to the cave’s entrance by other members of the cave rescue team and then flown to Nelson Hospital by the Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter at 7:00 am.

This accident provided a real life scenario for the cave rescue teams to use their training and expertise. The exercise has now concluded and participants are exiting the cave system. 

Nelson Bays Police, NZ Cave Search and Rescue, and Land Search and Rescue were all taking part in the exercise that started yesterday and was scheduled to run until Monday 29th Feb. The National Deep Cave Search and Rescue Exercise on the Takaka Hill takes place every three years and involves about 70 cavers and support staff from around the country.

This year, the exercise management team was presented with a training scenario involving two cavers who had not returned from an expedition in the Green Link and Swiss Maid cave system. Search teams had to locate the missing party in the cave, deal with any medical issues and then safely extract them to the surface.

A new communication system from the cave to the surface is being trialed. This system, “Cave Link” transmits a low frequency signal through the rock.

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Police dealing with bomb hoax incidents at several schools

Over the course of last week Police responded to a number of incidents where schools had received calls of concern.

It has been identified that an underground group of cyber teens may be behind the spate of hoax bomb threats that have been casuing havoc in New Zealand. A group operating on the dark web known as "evacuators" is believed to be targeting schools with the aim of causing chaos, although Police have not commented on the possible source of the hoax calls.

"As there is an ongoing investigation, and in order to not prejudice any of our inquiries, police are unable to comment on the specifics of the case," said a Police spokesman.

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New Gang Intelligence Centre will reduce gang harm

According to a 01 March media release from the Police Minister, Judith Collins, New Zealand’s first multi-agency Gang Intelligence Centre is now operational and collecting intelligence on gang activity, said Ms Collins.

"The Gang Intelligence Centre is one of the four initiatives in the Government’s Gang Action Plan. It provides an intelligence-led response to gangs, bringing together information held by Social Development, Customs, Corrections, Internal Affairs, Immigration and Police.

"That information is being used in two ways – to disrupt and dismantle illegal gang activities and to identify and offer support to the members and associates who want out, both for themselves, and for their children.

"One initial piece of work has been case studies of gang-affiliated families. This work has shown that gang members are disproportionately victims of family violence and other violent crimes themselves, and that this is being repeated through the generations at significant cost to social services. 

"The Gang Intelligence Centre is piecing together gang member family trees and identifying criminal histories and family links in ways not seen before.

"The wider social costs of gang crime has been highlighted today by Social Development Minister Anne Tolley with the release of a report which estimates the long term cost to the taxpayer of gang members and their children through contact with MSD and CYF alone is around $714 million.

Gang members are also disproportionately responsible for serious criminal offending and drug crime. “More than 30 percent of the total prison population are affiliated with a gang and the proportion of prisoners identified as gang members has been steadily increasing”, stated Ms Collins.

“Gang offenders re-offend at twice the rate of non-gang offenders, and with increasing seriousness. They are disproportionately represented in prison violence with close to half of all individual perpetrators of prison incidents identifying with a gang,” she said.

Along with the Gang Intelligence Centre, the Gang Action Plan includes three other significant pieces of work.

1. Start at Home: a programme to refocus existing social initiatives, and develop new programmes, to address the intergenerational nature of gang life.

2. Multi-agency taskforces will target drug trafficking networks, including disrupting new gangs attempting to enter New Zealand, and restricting and monitoring international gang travel. In 2015 taskforces contributed to the recovery of over 334 kg of methamphetamine with a street value of $334 million. A second taskforce is charged with strengthening asset recovery efforts, preventing financing of crime and targeting profits received from crime. Since August 2014, groups linked to organised crime have forfeited almost $14 million worth of assets and profits derived from crime.

3. Strengthening legislation including:

  • The Electronic Monitoring of Offenders Legislation Bill will allow courts to stipulate 24-hour GPS monitoring on high-risk offenders (such as gang members) following release from a prison sentence of two years or less, where court conditions limit where the offender is allowed to go. It will mean that where gang members are prevented from going to gang headquarters or other places where gangs congregate following release, those restrictions can be enforced through GPS monitoring.
  • Interim freezing orders (cash): amendments to the money laundering offence in the Crimes Act 1961 (progressed through the Organised Crime and Anti-corruption Legislation Bill) came into force in 2015. These amendments would clarify the position for Police and address some of the difficulties Police faced in seizing cash found in suspicious circumstances.
  • Firearm Prohibition Orders: the development of a regime is well advanced. Firearm Prohibition Orders restrict the access of certain individuals to firearms.
  • Drug detector dogs: The Minister of Police has considered preliminary advice on a proposal to deploy drug detector dogs at domestic ports.

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PwC Cyber Security report a timely reminder for boards

The 2016 Global Economic Crime Survey from PwC underlines that the issue of cyber security belongs in the boardroom, not the IT Department, says Communications Minister Amy Adams.

The PwC survey found that 40 per cent of New Zealand organisations have experienced cybercrime over the past two years, but only 45 per cent of all organisations have a cyber incident response plan. The report places New Zealand 19th out of 115 countries.

“The Global Economic Crime Survey is a welcome and valuable report for New Zealand businesses looking to better understand the range of threats in today’s modern operating environment,” Ms Adams says.

“The report is a sobering read and a call to action for chairs and chief executives to focus on managing the growing cyber security risk to their businesses.

“It’s important that companies create strong security cultures with actively engaged boards, because ultimately this isn’t an issue that directors can ignore.”

Ms Adams said with 29 per cent of companies reporting a cybercrime incident, it’s vital that New Zealand businesses understand what data they hold and create.

“Boardrooms around the country need to consider cyber vulnerabilities as a key business risk and address this as part of management processes.”

In December, Ms Adams launched the refreshed New Zealand Cyber Security Strategy. It highlights the need for the corporate sector, including operators of critical national infrastructure, to have policies and procedures in place to mitigate cyber security threats.

“The Institute of Director’s Practice Guide for Directors is an excellent resource for Board members to ensure they have a good sense of their responsibilities and cyber security best practice,” Ms Adams says.

“New Zealand’s first ever Cyber Security Summit in Auckland on 5 May will bring together leading business and government leaders and provide an opportunity for to demonstrate their collective commitment to cyber security.”

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Centrify ‘MFA Everywhere’ initiative to secure against compromised credentials

Centrify, a leader in securing enterprise identities against cyber threats, has announced MFA Everywhere, a new initiative aimed at securing enterprise identities against today’s most prevalent source of cyber attacks — compromised credentials — without slowing down users.

After making this announcement at the RSA Conference in San Francisco, Centrify is now delivering one of the industry’s easiest to use adaptive Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) solutions that supports all types of enterprise users — including employees, contractors, outsourced IT, partners and customers — across a broad range of enterprise resources, including cloud and on-premises apps, VPNs, network devices, and cloud and on-premises servers.

In the wake of so many high-profile breaches based on stolen or brute-forced password attacks, many businesses have rushed to implement MFA to provide an extra layer of security and mitigate the risk of data breaches. Yet most companies have seen mixed results.

MFA tends to have been either reserved for only the most sensitive or vulnerable accounts, or implemented in standalone silos for specific apps or services due to lack of platform coverage. Furthermore, MFA was either “on” or “off”, which resulted in the constant prompting for MFA, and the cumbersome nature of physical tokens annoyed users who were simply trying to get work done.

According to a Centrify 02 March press release, the Centrify Identity Platform changes this paradigm. A single turnkey platform provides flexible options for authentication factors, for seamless, adaptive MFA across enterprise identities and enterprise assets — without frustrating users.

The Centrify Identity Platform supports a broad range of enterprise resources, including thousands of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications, dozens of on-premises applications, hundreds of server operating systems as well as leading VPNs and network devices. Additionally, it supports MFA for privileged command execution and Secure Shell (SSH) access to servers deployed both on-premises and in an Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) environment.

“As attackers get more aggressive and sophisticated, organisations need to get serious about layering on additional factors of authentication for all their enterprise assets. Unlike other vendors that deliver islands of MFA for a subset of users and resources, we are proud to embark and deliver on an expansive MFA Everywhere vision,” said Bill Mann, chief product officer for Centrify.

Centrify supports simple, flexible authentication for all types of users. Whether it’s systems administrators logging on to, or executing privileged commands on servers, or end users accessing cloud, mobile, or on-premises apps, Centrify can bolster security with additional factors including: Push notification, Voice call, Text message, Soft token OTP, Mobile biometric, OATH-compliant tokens.

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Upcoming NZSA mandatory training course dates

Please note the following New Zealand Security Association mandatory training course dates, which have been posted on NZSA’s Facebook page:

  • New Plymouth 9th & 10th March
  • Auckland 15th & 22nd March
  • Christchurch – 23rd & 24th March
  • Napier 31st March & 1st April
  • Wellington 12th & 13th April

Please email Kirsty at for further information, or to enroll.

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Security guarding in the news

The man who punched Sydney bouncer Fady Taiba, leaving him in a coma for 19 days and with lifelong injuries in 2013 will spend a minimum of three years in jail. James Ian Longworth, 35, was sentenced in the NSW District Court on 18 February to a maximum of four years and 10 months’ imprisonment.

Mr Longworth had embarked on a heavy drinking session with mates at the Concourse Bar, near Wynyard station on the night of 06 September 2013.

Mr Taiba, a father-of-four, was working as a bouncer at the front when he observed Longworth stumbling and refused him entry. Security footage captured Longworth walking away before rushing back moments later and striking Mr Taiba to the head.

In October a jury found Mr Longworth, an employee of UBS investment bank, guilty of recklessly inflicting grievous bodily harm but not guilty of the more serious charge of intentionally inflicting grievous bodily harm.

In other guarding news closer to home, one of two men removed from Eden Park by security after streaking during last Friday's Super Rugby game between the Blues and Highlanders has filed a police complaint against one of the guards.

After being apprehended by three guards, the man claims that he was assaulted by one of them following his removal from the field and after he had been taken away from public view. He required several stitches after he claims he was punched him several times by the guard.

Eden Park has taken the matter up with the security company involved, Platform 4 Group.

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