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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.



09 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: 


NZDF NH90 helicopters conduct mercy flights to Fiji communities

The New Zealand Defence Force reported that its NH90 helicopters marked their first overseas mission on 04 March by delivering essential aid supplies to Nasau village in Koro Island, about 106 km north of the Fijian capital of Suva.

RNZAF 3 Squadron NH90 Detachment Commander, Squadron Leader (SQNLDR) Ben Pryor, said the multi-role helicopters are providing a critical link between the main population centres and outlying islands, which have been devastated by Tropical Cyclone Winston.

“The range and lift capacity of the NH90 helicopter greatly increases the speed with which aid can be distributed to those who need it most,” SQNLDR Pryor said.

The mercy flights are being conducted in conjunction with the Australian Defence Force (ADF), which has deployed seven similar MRH-90 helicopters.

“The Ohakea crew have been looking forward to this fresh opportunity to operate with our Australian partners and to demonstrate their capability to assist in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations,” SQNLDR Pryor said.

The RNZAF NH90s are operating out of Nausori Airport in Suva and may also operate out of some of the remote outlying islands. They were transported to Fiji by the sealift vessel HMNZS Canterbury.

The operations that the helicopters conducted with the ADF during Talisman Sabre in 2015 demonstrated their capability to perform a wide range of tasks. They also confirmed the helicopters’ ability to support battlefield manoeuvres and their readiness to be deployed on operations throughout the Southwest Pacific.

Since they were introduced into the RNZAF in 2013, the NH90s have been used for search and rescue missions, transport for military and government personnel and lifting of equipment, and the maintenance of a counter-terrorism response.

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Australian PM announces new Centre for Defence Industry Capability

Australia’s Prime Minister, Minister for Defence and Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, announced on 08 March that the new Centre for Defence Industry Capability (CDIC) will be headquartered in Adelaide. The CDIC is intended to drive innovation in the defence industry across Australia and open up export opportunities.

A key initiative of the 2016 Defence White Paper, the CDIC will is designed to bring together the private sector, Defence and AusIndustry to transform the relationship between Defence and industry for better results.

The CDIC will work with small-to-medium enterprises across Australia to promote defence industry competitiveness and guide the priorities across defence industry. The Centre will also offer a range of advisory services including mentoring, defence market access, export facilitation and global supply chain development.

In addition to its Adelaide headquarters, the Centre will have a network of advisors in key locations across Australia to engage directly with industry. According to a joint media release by the PM and ministers involved, the CDIC is a $230 million investment aimed at jobs and growth.

“South Australia is at the forefront of the Turnbull Government’s plan to renew Australia’s naval fleet, and create a world-class, sustainable naval shipbuilding industry,” states the media release. “An innovative and competitive Australian defence industry is critical to support the delivery of major capability projects, including the Future Frigates and Future Submarines.

“Innovation will drive greater growth and more jobs. This is essential to creating a 21st Century economy for Australia.

The CDIC is one of a number of innovation-focused measures announced in the Defence Industry Policy Statement, which also incudes the Defence Innovation Hub and the Next Generation Technologies Fund.

“The CDIC and the Innovation Hub”, claims the release, “will provide new ways for defence and industry to work together, and will ensure a closer alignment between industry’s investment in future skills and Defence’s capability needs.” The centre will be led by an advisory board comprising senior members of industry and Defence, and will commence operations in the second half of 2016.

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Thomas Global Innovation Hub highlights White Paper opportunities

The Minister for Defence, Senator Marise Payne, officially opened Thomas Global System’s new Electronic and Embedded Systems Innovation Hub on 04 March.

Thomas Global Systems has supplied a range of capability solution for the ADF, including ground vehicle display systems, mission system solutions, and defence systems sustainment across a number of platforms: S70B Seahawks, the Australian Light Armoured Vehicle, the M1A1 Abrams Tank, the Collins class submarines, and the Vigilare Integrated Air Defence System.

“The Hub has been designed to optimise innovation, fully developing the technology concepts through to integration for applications in the commercial aerospace and defence markets,” Minister Payne said.

“Thomas Global System’s approach to harnessing innovation to create cutting-edge capability for the Australian Defence Force is the type of ingenuity the Turnbull Government is seeking to foster in Australian defence industry.”

According to the Defence Department, the initiatives outlined in the Defence Industry Policy Statement released recently with the 2016 Defence White Paper will assist companies to innovate and generate new capability solutions for the Australian Defence Force. “The Defence Industry Policy Statement demonstrates the Turnbull Government’s strategy to bring a new approach to innovation in Defence. This is good for capability, it’s good for industry, and it’s good for the Australian economy and jobs.”

The Defence Industry Policy Statement also sets out the Government’s commitment to reduce the complexity and red tape in doing business with Defence. This, claims the Government, will help small-to-medium enterprises to access opportunities in Defence, and to nurture innovative ideas from initial concept, through prototyping and testing, to introduction to service.

It is this type of innovation, says the Minister, that is “at the heart of the Government’s agenda to transform Australia into a 21st Century economy.”

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SA Industry unhappy over Government ‘delays’ on continuous shipbuilding plan

According to the Australian Made Defence campaign, delays in decision making over the Federal Government’s continuous shipbuilding plan is a factor in the recent loss of 100 jobs at ASC. In a 02 March media release, the industry group called on the Government to commit to building future fleets in Australia “to ensure the Australian Navy receives the capabilities it urgently needs in the most cost effective way.”

According to Chris Burns, national spokesperson for the Australian Made Defence campaign, this will maximise taxpayers’ dollars while ensuring the future of the shipbuilding industry and consequentially Australia’s national security and sovereignty.

“The Defence White Paper released last week, while positive in rhetoric, does not commit to building Australia’s future fleets in Australia,” said Mr Burns.

While Mr Burns acknowledges the benefit to industry of the Government moving away from the one-off project approach to defence acquisition, he insists there remains a need for concrete commitment to a national shipbuilding strategy. “A continuous strategy needs to cover naval and civilian government vessels to truly build the indigenous capabilities that will promote innovation – and eventually – make Australia globally competitive.”

“We know Future Frigates will be built in Adelaide, that is great news – but when it comes to Pacific Patrol Boats, Offshore Patrol Vessels and submarines there is still a great deal of uncertainty. Mr Burns points to a Government commissioned RAND report that, he says, concludes that the success and competitiveness of the Future Frigate project relies heavily on Australian shipyards maintaining the workforce and skills that we already have.

“The White Paper made no commitments to promoting productivity and cost effectiveness between projects by consolidating Future Frigates and Offshore Patrol Vessels in the same location to bring cost savings to the taxpayer, as well as save jobs.

“If the workforce dissipates, it will cost Australian taxpayers millions of dollars to rebuild it – putting the cost and timeline of the project at risk.

“There is an opportunity for the Federal Government to mitigate these risks – and further job losses – by bringing projects like the Pacific Patrol Boats, Offshore Patrol Vessels and Future Frigates forward so existing workers from the Air Warfare Destroyer project can flow onto these projects.

“The White Paper also made certain commitments about working towards a shipbuilding strategy for surface ships. It was unclear what the Government’s position on a continuous build strategy for submarines is. He says that a ‘rolling acquisition program’ “leaves the door wide open for a hybrid or overseas build.”

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Biosecurity beagles greet trans-Tasman passengers

08 March: According to the Ministry of Primary Industries, arriving air passengers from Australia may be greeted by detector dogs as soon as they step off the plane under stricter biosecurity measures.

The move follows an outbreak of Mediterranean fruit fly in Adelaide. The South Australian government has imposed a quarantine zone in the city following the discovery of the fly in home-grown peaches.

"Our intelligence team determined there was a biosecurity threat to New Zealand, so we’ve swung into gear very quickly," says Craig Hughes, MPI Manager, North Passenger and Mail.

He says the use of dogs at the arrival gate allows greater scrutiny of hand luggage – the most likely source of fruit and other “risk items” that could harbour fruit fly.

Mr Hughes points out that previously passengers would not have come across a biosecurity detector dog until they had passed through customs. "Moving detector dogs as close as possible to the arrival point is something international passengers are going to see a lot more of in the future.

"In addition to the extra dogs, the Adelaide outbreak has prompted a stricter approach to our risk assessment. If there is any doubt, passengers will be screened by x-ray and sent to our search benches.

"Over the last 12 months MPI has significantly invested in biosecurity at the border with 24 new detector dog teams and 90 new staff. It has also significantly boosted its intelligence-gathering capacity.

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Immigration New Zealand Warns of scam phone calls

In a 07 March media release Immigration New Zealand (INZ) has warned of a new wave of scam phone calls from individuals claiming to be Immigration staff.

Callers, posing as Immigration staff are telling people that they have broken the law, which breaches their visa conditions, and threatening that if they don’t pay money immediately they will have to go to court and face further fees.

Often the caller has some details of the person, such as a case reference numbers, although these do not match Immigration New Zealand client or application numbers. These calls are not from Immigration New Zealand.

INZ is advising the public to not pass on personal details or payment details to such callers. People who believe they have been a victim of this scam are advised to contact the New Zealand Police to report the call.

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Corrections to advise CYF when child abuse prisoners released

A new process involving Corrections notifying Child Youth and Family about released prisoners who may pose a risk to children has begun, Corrections Minister Judith Collins announced 08 March.

“In January it was revealed that Corrections did not have an automatic procedure for advising Child, Youth and Family when a convicted child abuser is released from prison. This has now been rectified,” stated the Minister.

“Existing information sharing policies meant Corrections already notified CYF about many prisoners with offences against children.  However, in January, some gaps in the process were identified and these have now been closed.

“Corrections advises CYF when prisoners serving current sentences for offending against children are released. CYF is also informed when prisoners with historic offending against children are released, where there is a concern.

“The process change particularly affects short-serving prisoners (that is, those with sentences of less than two years).

“Offenders released on parole with convictions for offending against children were already subject to information sharing where a concern for child safety existed, under an existing agreement between the two agencies,” Ms Collins said.

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Strong evidence for new strangling offence

In a 08 March media statement, Justice Minister Amy Adams welcomed a recommendation from the Law Commission to make strangulation a specific crime, saying it fits well with the Government’s review of family violence laws.

“Strangulation is an abhorrent act. This is a deeply personal and intimidating form of violence. In a domestic violence context, it’s more than just a physical attack and can have a devastating and long-lasting psychological impact on victims,” Ms Adams says.

“Family violence victims who have been strangled previously are seven times more likely to end up being killed than those who have suffered other non-strangulation forms of violence.

“Typically, non-fatal strangulation is either not prosecuted at all or perpetrators are charged with only generic assault offences.”

The Law Commission report found that current laws are inadequate to deal with this type of assault. It has made several recommendations, including:

  • introducing a new crime of strangulation into the Crimes Act 1961, with a maximum penalty of seven years’ imprisonment
  • requiring courts to record strangulation as a ‘family violence offence’ on a person’s criminal record
  • introducing a new aggravating factor of ‘strangulation in family violence circumstances’ that must be taken into account by judges at sentencing 
  • increasing education for Police and the judiciary.

“A standalone offence sends a clear-cut message that this form of abuse is unacceptable and recognises that strangulation can be a critical risk factor of escalating family violence. It would help increase public awareness and understanding and assist in the prosecution of perpetrators,” Ms Adams says.

“Creating a specific strangulation offence would bring New Zealand in line with international laws and practices.” The UK and three quarters of states in the US have offences relating to strangulation.

“Over the next few weeks, I’ll be taking a close look at the Law Commission’s report before taking recommendations to Cabinet. This work will sit alongside our comprehensive review of family violence laws, which explores a range of new family violence offences.” The Law Commission’s report can be found on the Law Commission’s website:

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AFP Commissioner speech: 'Building Capabilities for Tomorrow'

Australian Federal Police Commissioner Andrew Colvin made a speech to the Australian Strategic Policy Institute in Canberra on 25 February in which he outlined the future priorities for the AFP and internal reforms aimed at meeting these. An except from his speech “Building Capabilities for Tomorrow” appears below:

Eight months ago, on 1 July 2015, the AFP moved to a new capability-based model; one that aligns our capacities and our capabilities to best support our operational outcomes. It seems logical, but in policing terms we have rarely brought clarity to how we align all of our efforts to ensure we maximise the parts that matter – our operations. The AFP will always be judged on our operational performance – and so it should – so we need to ensure all of our efforts are aligned to this objective.

This change in model has also allowed the AFP to bring a clear focus to our capabilities. Instead of having our capabilities spread throughout the organisation, they are now aligned together in support of operations. It makes sense operationally, but in a tight fiscal environment it is also crucial to our efficiency. Like all agencies and departments, I am being asked to do more with less. To do this I need confidence that our capabilities are being utilised in the smartest way possible.

Specialist police capabilities are no longer an investigative afterthought – they need to drive our investigational strategies, particularly within Serious and Organised crime. Exploiting vulnerabilities within sophisticated organised crime business models requires innovative use of precious, sometimes sensitive, capabilities. That is why we are moving to a consultancy model for our capabilities. Investigators will dictate the strategy and the desired outcome, but the specialist areas of the AFP – be they intelligence, forensic, technical or tactical – will determine how those capabilities can best achieve the outcome.

It is a subtle shift in strategy, but a big change in investigative mind set.

So the question not only becomes ‘what capabilities do we use’ but also ‘what capabilities to we need?’

Key to our reforms and to ensuring a “future capable” AFP is the Future Directions Project. This project will refresh our current thinking, build a capability roadmap by understanding our future demands, and provide a sense of long-term direction and purpose for the AFP and our members. It will be the hook by which all future planning, both strategic and operational, will hang.

The broad consultation undertaken during this project has already gleaned valuable insights for the AFP, including identifying the capabilities that distinguish the AFP from other police and law enforcement agencies, and where the AFP should place greatest emphasis.

This work is ongoing and consultation continues, however common areas of emphasis are emerging. These include:

  • The need for the AFP to focus its efforts on conducting complex and serious organized crime investigations. Those crimes that have the greatest impact on the Australian community;
  • The critical importance that the AFP’s international collaboration and cooperation role plays in the broader security and law enforcement context;
  • The emerging importance of the AFP’s role as an agency that can provide a leadership and coordination role on serious crime and national security. That doesn’t mean we will also lead the efforts, or that our role will be high profile – but crime is borderless and the AFP is uniquely placed to bring together the effort of law enforcement, and others, in this space. Our partners are crucial to our success, and they are increasingly asking us to fill that role. And finally,
  • We must place emphasis on adding value to the work of partner agencies by providing specialist capabilities. We have to ask ourselves the critical question – what is it that we can bring to the table that is unique?

These areas of emphasis and other guidance arising from the Future Directions project will shape our investment decisions, our workforce plan and our capability plans well into the future. It is not an attempt to crystal ball gaze – in crime terms that would be impossible – but we can begin to inform and even predict what skills and capabilities we will need into the future. And we must reinforce our vision for where we think the AFP will best be able to serve the Australian community.

This work is already shaping my thinking, in particular reinforcing the significance of the AFP’s role internationally now and in the future. We will need to continue to evolve and build upon our international relationships, particularly in South East Asia and the Pacific – to grow our law enforcement cooperation and build capabilities across the region, but also to advance broader Australian Government initiatives through police-led diplomacy.

These relationships have already proven to deliver enormous benefits in developing collective solutions to global criminal issues, such as online child sexual exploitation, terrorism and drug trafficking. However the establishment of strong relationships of trust also provide a solid platform to build broader whole-of-government relationships. We saw this in the AFP’s response to the tragic events of MH17, which resulted in the AFP playing a crucial role to successfully bring together a number of countries to work together.

This Future Directions project is a very exciting piece of work which I look forward to sharing with you when it is completed later this year. However, this is not all that is required to achieve my objective.

In shaping the future direction of the organisation, there is a critical need to re-shape our culture and build a diverse workforce. Capabilities are not just the tools we use – our greatest capability is the skills and health of our people. Organisations with good cultures, strong internal health and skilled workers will always perform well – especially when the environment is so complex and changeable.

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NZSA Auckland networking breakfast to talk Health and Safety at Work

The New Zealand Security Association (NZSA) is currently taking bookings for its upcoming members networking breakfast in Auckland. The 01 April event will feature the NZSA’s director of training, Stewart O’Reilly, as guest speaker.

Mr O’Reilly will be talking on the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, which comes into effect on 06 April.

“Many members have contacted us asking how it will impact on their business, so NZSA’s Training Division putting together an information package on the Act which will be launched at our next networking event,” he said.

O’Reilly will provide an outline of the Act and associated regulations and provide general advice on possible impacts for you and your business.

Members who cannot make it to this event will be able to view the presentation in the NZSA website’s Members Area.

The event will commence at 0700 with breakfast at The Lab Eatery, 132 Hurstmere Road, Takapuna. A full cooked breakfast will be served from 0715. The presentation will commence at 0800 at the NZSA offices at Level 2, 132 Hurstmere Rd. Proceedings will conclude by 0845.

Costs (including breakfast): are $25 per person for NZSA & ASIS members and $30 for non members.

RSVP to or by calling Kirsty on 09 4860441. Bookings must be made by 1200 on Monday 15th February. Payment for the breakfast can be made by credit card, and there are no refunds. Places are limited.

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New Zealand Herald releases new interactive burglary map

This week the NZ Herald commenced publishing the first in a series of investigations in relation to burglaries across New Zealand in what it claims is the most in-depth series on the subject ever done.

A new web-based interactive map created by the Herald Insights team for public use, showing at street level each reported burglary carried out in the 18 months to 31 December 2015. The map, states a 07 March NZ Herald article, was created using data released by New Zealand Police for the first time.

The map allows readers to take a comparative look at the incidence of burglaries from suburb to suburb. “For example, in Hamilton, the area around Waikato University had 312 burglaries over the period in question, significantly higher than the 126 in neighbouring Hillcrest West.”

The data breaks down further again to highlight variation from street to street. In terms of Waikato University, for example, “the area between Beaumont St and Hogan St had the most number of burglaries, 38.” This level of breakdown is known as "meshblock", which report points out is “the smallest geographic unit by which government agencies aggregate data.”

“The release of meshblock-level data allows Herald Insights to combine it with Census data, to see patterns according to income and other socioeconomic factors.”

The article states that the NZ Herald will update the map as new burglary data is released. Visit their website for more details.

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ASIS, (ISC)² and ISACA to collaborate on security awareness standard

ASIS International (ASIS), (ISC)² and ISACA‚Äč announced on 04 March that they have signed an MOU to develop a Security Awareness American National Standard. This guidance standard will address the intersections of physical, cyber and information security management to help organizations of all sizes maximize protection of people, property, and assets.

The Standard will focus on cross-disciplinary management measures, as well as awareness and training programs to help organizations and their supply chains prepare for and minimize the likelihood of an undesirable event, as well as respond to and recover from a security incident.

“The human element is central to any successful security strategy. By promoting a ‘security awareness culture,’ organizations can proactively prevent problems that detract from achieving their business objectives,” says Dr. Marc H. Siegel, commissioner, ASIS Global Standards Initiative. “The proposed standard will integrate physical, cyber, and information security into day-to-day business and risk management practices. It will emphasize that everyone in the organization is part of the risk equation, and therefore, part of the solution.” 

Topics of discussion related to security awareness will include:

  • Physical security
  • Information security
  • Cyber security
  • Wireless networks
  • Password security
  • Intangible asset security (brand, reputation, file sharing, intellectual property, and image)

“Businesses are struggling to cope with all of today’s security threats,” says Dr. Casey Marks, director of Professional Programs Development, (ISC)². “The continued convergence of cyber and physical security causes our adversaries to neither think nor act in siloes when they perform malicious activities. An all-encompassing security standard like this will help to provide businesses with needed guidance. Standards are the pillar upon which the concept of professionalization is built, and we’re pleased to be a part of this effort with two well-respected industry organizations.”

ASIS, (ISC) ² and ISACA will form a joint technical committee and working group to develop the standard, soliciting input from security experts around the globe. The committee will operate under ASIS’s ANSI-accredited process to develop an American National Standard that can be applied anywhere in the world.

“Combining the expertise of our members and leaders will help organizations and their supply chains assess their risks and develop enterprise-wide and site-specific plans and procedures to more effectively manage risk and protect their human, tangible and intangible assets,” says Christos Dimitriadis, international president of ISACA.

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New Zealand Fire Service leads NZ’s public sector for reputation

In its inaugural Public Sector Reputation Index, Colmar Brunton announced in a 08 March event in Wellington that the New Zealand Fire Service has set the benchmark for public sector reputation. The event was attended by fifty public sector communications management practitioners and senior leaders.

The Colmar Brunton Public Sector Reputation Index benchmarked 31 national public sector organisations against four pillars of: leadership and success; social responsibility; trust; and fairness. Each entity’s reputation was indexed against the others.

The New Zealand Fire Service placed first in the 2015/2016 rankings, followed by the New Zealand Customs Service, Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA), the Department of Conservation, and Maritime New Zealand. NZ Police also made it into the top ten.

New Zealand Fire Service Chief Executive and National Commander Paul Baxter welcomed the recognition, stating “Our people have earned their reputation over time. It is one we are proud of and don’t take for granted.” The Fire Service outscored the rest of the field across all four pillars.

Colmar Brunton Group Account Director, Social Agency Research, Dr Andrew Robertson states that the ranking reflects that “New Zealanders respond more strongly to organisations that show they care.”

“People are twice as likely to speak highly of entities with a strong reputation and in turn they’re rewarded by greater support and social license to operate. A positive reputation also helps to increase resilience to negative publicity,” he says.

Interestingly, the top 10 public sector agencies include a number that have received significant and recent negative publicity.

Dr Robertson says Colmar Brunton initiated the Index following increasing approaches by public sector organisations wanting to understand how they’re perceived by the public. Apart from entity-specific results, the Index also identified strengths and weaknesses within the public sector overall, identifying priority areas for improvement, including openness and transparency; listening to the public; and using taxpayer money responsibly.

The Colmar Brunton Public Sector Reputation Index is based on the global RepZ framework, developed by Colmar Brunton’s parent company, Millward Brown, and used in 40 countries.

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