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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.



25 February 2016

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


Joint PM Statement – Australia and New Zealand

Prime Ministers Malcolm Turnbull and John Key met in Sydney on 19 February 2016 for the annual Australia-New Zealand Leaders’ Meeting.

A resulting joint prime ministerial statement summarised major outcomes of the talks, which included the creation of a new pathway to Australian citizenship for some New Zealanders residing in Australia, plans for cyber security joint exercises, and cooperation in relation to combatting domestic terrorism:

People/Immigration Issues

Prime Minister Key welcomed Prime Minister Turnbull’s announcement that Australia would offer a unique pathway to citizenship for New Zealanders who are long-term residents in Australia. The two agreed that the pathway acknowledges the significant contributions many New Zealanders have made to Australia and their enduring community ties. They committed to work closely to implement the new pathway in keeping with the strong sense of community between our two nations.

Prime Minister Turnbull reiterated Australia’s commitment to ensuring the process of visa cancellation, appeals and removals of New Zealand citizens who have been convicted of serious crimes in Australia is conducted as efficiently as possible. The Prime Ministers welcomed the good progress made to expedite cases, improve communications between authorities and take into account community ties in considering these cases.

Security and Defence Cooperation

Australia and New Zealand have a shared interest in promoting a stable, rules-based global order, and in working together to respond to regional and international security challenges.

The Prime Ministers affirmed their commitment to close defence and security cooperation. They agreed on the benefits of enhancing interoperability between the countries’ defence forces, recognising this would maximise the impact and effectiveness of our contributions to international peace and security and in response to regional emergencies.

To further enhance strategic cooperation and strengthen responses to domestic security challenges, the Prime Ministers agreed their departmental secretaries would lead an annual dialogue on national security between the heads of Australian and New Zealand policy, intelligence and security agencies.

The Prime Ministers expressed their deep concern at the situation in Syria and Iraq. They reiterated their support and encouragement for efforts to ease humanitarian suffering in Iraq and Syria, to reach a negotiated political solution to the Syrian crisis, and to progress inclusive governance in Iraq.

Australia and New Zealand have a long and proud history of working together to advance international peace and security, and are doing so once again as members of the Counter‑ISIL coalition supporting Iraq’s government in its efforts to defeat ISIL. The two Prime Ministers recognised the valuable work of the joint Australia-New Zealand Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission in Iraq, which is training units of the Iraqi Army to build their skills and enable them to convert short-term battlefield gains into long-term success in defeating ISIL. The Iraqi Army’s 76th Brigade, trained at Taji by Australian and New Zealand Defence personnel, played a key support role in the liberation of Ramadi in December.

Critical cooperation between Australia and New Zealand to combat domestic terrorism continues to grow. Both countries have taken a range of measures to address the evolving terrorist threat, including legislation to ensure our agencies have the powers and resources they need to protect the public. The two leaders agreed to build on the substantial collaboration between our law enforcement agencies, including through the Australia‑New Zealand Counter-Terrorism Committee. They agreed that community engagement was vital to tackle radicalisation and violent extremism. They noted that it would be vital also to continue to work in cooperation with partner governments in the region to support initiatives to counter violent extremism.

On the issue of tackling people smuggling, the leaders welcomed cooperation between the two governments, and with countries of the region through the Bali Process. The Prime Ministers underlined the importance of efforts to counter the illegal people smuggling trade, which puts vulnerable peoples' lives at risk and enriches criminal networks. They emphasised their continuing commitment to detect and deter people smuggling ventures targeting our borders, and to continue work on a joint information campaign.

Cyber Security

Australia and New Zealand continue to strengthen ties on cyber security. Both governments share a commitment to improving our cyber defences and championing an open, free and secure internet to enable our citizens to be secure, resilient and prosperous online.

Exercising our response to cyber-attacks gives us insight into where we need to improve. Australia and New Zealand will undertake joint cyber exercises to ensure we can respond to a significant cyber incident affecting both nations, with the first joint exercise to be conducted by the end of 2016.

Creating cyber smart nations, with more people who have the right skills and know-how is high on our agenda. The Prime Ministers agreed to cooperate to boost trans-Tasman cyber security skills by enhancing our respective skills competitions for students.

Increasing the understanding of cyber security risks and benefits is one of our strongest defences. The Prime Ministers committed to work together to improve trans-Tasman cyber security awareness through aligned public-private awareness initiatives and education campaigns. Together, in partnership with businesses and the community, the governments will strengthen cooperation on practical initiatives to improve cyber security and enhance collaboration across our nations.

The full joint statement can be viewed at–-australia-and-new-zealand.

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NZDF accepts Audit Office Findings on Lifejacket Contract

According to a 19 February New Zealand Defence Force media release, the NZDF “got it wrong” in dealing with an interim contract for lifejacket servicing and has learnt lessons from the issue.

This announcement directly followed the release of a report by the Office of the Controller & Auditor General into the circumstances surrounding the awarding in February 2014 of a contract to Miltech Ltd, a company that had as its director and shareholder a serving member of the Royal New Zealand Air Force.

“As Chief of Defence Force, I’m disappointed at the way the organisation handled this issue", stated the Chief of Defence Force, Lieutenant General Tim Keating. “The NZDF has rules in place in relation to secondary employment, and although the Auditor-General found no illegality, it also found those rules were not followed.”

“I am also disappointed that the organisation did not initially recognise that the contract was a clear conflict of interest, as well as being contrary to defence force rules.

“I would point out that at the time this interim contract was approved, there was an urgent need to certify the safety of a consignment of lifejackets needed for a ship’s deployment.

“Nonetheless, those involved in approving the contract appear to have been too heavily focused on putting a contract in place quickly at the expense of taking care that the decisions being made were robust and could withstand scrutiny.

“Later, when questions were raised about this contract, our own inquiries appear to have focused on whether any behaviour by those involved amounted to fraud – which wasn’t found. However, the organisation failed to address basic questions about conflicts of interest and how these should have been managed.”

LTGEN Keating claimed that the NZDF has taken steps to address the issues raised in the report. “The Defence Force has rewritten its rules to provide greater guidance and make clearer expectations of staff in awarding contracts of this sort, as well as around secondary employment and conflicts of interest generally.

“The NZDF has also introduced an ongoing training programme for staff to help them recognise and avoid conflicts of interest,” said LTGEN Keating.

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Chief of Defence Force Hosts Australian and UK Counterparts

According to a 22 February NZDF media release, the Chief of Defence Force, Lieutenant General Tim Keating hosted a visit to New Zealand by the United Kingdom’s Chief of Defence Staff, General Sir Nicholas Houghton, and Chief of Defence Force Australia, Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin.

The primary purpose of the visit was the biennial BRITANZ (Britain, Australia, New Zealand) meeting, hosted by LTGEN Keating in Queenstown last Thursday and Friday.  The meeting was also attended by the Deputy Heads of Mission from the Australian and British High Commissions in Wellington.

“The regular BRITANZ meetings allow the three chiefs to discuss issues of mutual importance to all three countries.  These issues included Antarctica, countering Daesh/ISIL, and issues affecting the three defence forces”, LTGEN Keating said.

“These meetings are a good opportunity to improve the already good relationships between the three forces and further enhancing interoperability and shared understanding.  It also recognises our shared military heritage.”

Following the meeting the delegations travelled to Wellington to attend the Royal Military Edinburgh Military Tattoo performance last Saturday night.

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NZDF Transport Aid Supplies to Fiji

According to a New Zealand Defence Force media release, an NZDF C-130 Hercules left for Fiji on 22 February with 12 tonnes of aid supplies and an inter-agency team tasked with helping assess the damage caused by Tropical Cyclone Winston.

“We hope that this contribution from New Zealand will go a long way in helping the people of Fiji,” said Air Commodore (AIRCDRE) Kevin McEvoy, the Acting Commander Joint Forces New Zealand. The aid supplies included tool kits, generators, water, ration packs, water containers, chainsaws and tarpaulins.

The Joint Reconnaissance Team, comprised of NZDF personnel and staff from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Health and Fire Service, will help Fijian authorities assess the damage and coordinate the New Zealand government’s disaster relief efforts.

A Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion aircraft has been conducting aerial surveillance in Fiji’s northern outlying islands since Sunday to assist Fijian officials in assessing the devastation caused by the cyclone.

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Reminder for Importers of Hazardous Substances

An NZ Customs update published on 19 February, provided importers with a reminder to ensure they are complying with new hazardous substance import rules. Rules brought in on 19 November 2015 require anyone who imports or manufactures hazardous substances for any purpose other than for personal use to register their details with the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) within 30 days of first importing or manufacturing.

Over 500 importers and manufacturers of hazardous substances have already registered their details with the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA). An online facility on the EPA’s website streamlines the registration of business details and contact information.

The EPA will use the contact information to communicate with manufacturers and importers and keep them up to date and informed about changes to New Zealand’s hazardous substances management regime.

The new rule applies to anyone who imports or manufactures a hazardous product for a commercial use including for sale or trade or anyone importing or manufacturing a hazardous substance to use in a business setting. The term “hazardous substance” is broad, states the update, covering a range of items “from soaps and crayons to petrol and explosives.”

The EPA provides information to assist in identifying a hazardous substance on its website.

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Innovative Intrude-A-Lock keeps luggage secure

Eight New Zealand student teams made up of 38 young entrepreneurs have just spent six weeks of their summer building startups from scratch as part of the Venture Up program. They converged on Auckland last week to pitch the businesses they had spent the previous six weeks building.

Leading New Zealand youth entrepreneurship accelerator Venture Up hosted the Showcase at the City Gallery. It was the final pitch event to wrap up its immersive entrepreneurship program aimed at 16-24 year olds. One of the student teams in particular has received media interest for their innovation – the Intrude-A-Lock.

The Intrude-A-Lock is a smart device can be placed inside cargo or luggage shipments in order to detect when illicit activity has occurred in transit. According to the Intrude-A-Lock website, detection is sensed through the recording of movement and light levels. These are sent to the user’s phone through a proximity-based bluetooth protocol with a date and time stamp of when these activities may have occurred.

The application can also send the log of activity directly to travel authorities as evidence of innocence… a definite step up from cheap luggage padlocks and cling wrap.

The Intrude-A-Lock site claims that although it is often perceived that the chances of having one’s luggage compromised is low, it is reported that more than 3.4 million suitcases are damaged, tampered or stolen each year. Passengers are often forced to to take legal responsibility for any content that has been illicitly placed in their suitcases due to their lack of ability to evidence that the content had been placed in the luggage by someone else.

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Christchurch Justice and Emergency Services Precinct takes shape

Coinciding with the 5th anniversary of the devastating 2011 Christchurch earthquake, Justice and Courts Minister Amy Adams announced this week that the city's largest multi-agency project, the Justice and Emergency Services Precinct, is now 12 months away from completion.

“This $300 million investment is unique because for the first time, all essential regional justice and emergency services will be brought together under one roof, encouraging a more collaborative approach to delivering services and responding to emergencies”, stated the minister.

The first sod was turned by Prime Minister John Key in January 2014, beginning the excavation of a volume of soil equivalent to eight Olympic swimming pools. Fifteen months on, the precinct’s steel framework is largely in place and the windows, roof, and exterior cladding are being installed.

“Practically, it will deliver high-quality services for the hundreds of people who will visit each day, but also has the structural strength to withstand seismic events so these essential services can continue to operate during regional or national emergencies”, said Ms Adams. The precinct’s seismic credentials include base isolation and specs to Importance Level 4 standard.

The precinct’s Emergency Operations Centre will also have its own power, water, and waste disposal for at least 72 hours, for resilience in any future emergency

Expected to be in use by mid-2017, the precinct will be the first major government building to be completed in central Christchurch since the 2011 earthquakes.

It will house the Ministry of Justice, New Zealand Police, Department of Corrections, New Zealand Fire Service, St John New Zealand, the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management, the Canterbury Civil Defence and Emergency Management Group, the Christchurch City Council Civil Defence and Emergency Management, and courtrooms.

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TPP demonstrations: thousands of protesters but no arrests

Auckland’s CBD was brought to a standstill earlier this month by thousands of demonstrators protesting the signing of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). Despite the mayhem, Police Superintendent Richard Chambers said that the operation to police the protests was a victory for professionalism and tolerance “despite sometimes extreme provocation.”

According to NZ Police magazine Ten One, An estimated 5,000 people gathered in central Auckland as ministers from twelve nations signed the TPP at Sky City. “Some protesters”, states the report, “confronted police lines and blockaded roads including motorway on-ramps, at one point running on to the motorway itself.”

“The professionalism you have all displayed has been outstanding,” Supt Chambers said in a message of thanks to staff. “I know many of you have had to stand and remain vigilant in the heat, have been subjected to vile behaviour and have faced this with competence and dignity.”

Small groups that split from the well-behaved majority, he said, were a source of problems. “We could have started arresting people early in the day for their behaviour but we were in it for the long haul. Our preferred approach was to negotiate with groups, monitor them closely and take affirmative action when needed.”

According to Ten One, the planning and execution of the operation involved around 500 staff from districts, service centres and Police National Headquarters. Frontline staff came from around the country, but mainly Metro Auckland, with support including Maori Wardens.

Deputy Commissioner National Operations Mike Clement, who watched from the Auckland District Command Centre (DCC), says the national nature of the protest movement made the DCCs and NCCC integral to the deployment. “Through National Tasking and Coordination we could plan for and maintain a line of sight across everything, deploying our resources accordingly”, he said. Command centre technology provided for improved decision-maker and observer viewing of the situation, “providing a clear appreciation of what frontline staff are facing.”

For the full Ten One report, visit

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Technology awards entries close soon

Entry to the 2016 NZ Hi-Tech Awards close at 5:00 pm on Monday 07 March. The Awards are among the technology sector’s most sought-after accolades, previously won by some of New Zealand’s most successful high-tech companies, and individuals.

Launched in 1994 to reward the success of New Zealand’s growing technology sector and help give the industry a voice, the VSI Electronics Excellence Awards have evolved into the NZ Hi-Tech Awards. Administered by the NZ Hi-Tech Trust, the awards promote the sector as a leading contributor to the New Zealand economy and export success.

The awards cover tech industries including ICT, electronics, software, biotechnology, creative, telecommunications and digital media. Former organisational winners include: Navman, Orion Systems, Compac Sorting Equipment, Endace, Xero, Rakon, and Tait Electronics, among others.

The year-long awards calendar has several events that showcase and provide networking opportunities for New Zealand technology companies. All profits generated by the awards programme are reinvested by the NZ Hi-Tech Trust to ensure the continuance of the programme and to benefit the long-term development of the industries it supports.

Award finalists will be announced on 30 March, with winners announced at a gala dinner in Auckland on Friday 20 May. For more information on entering the awards email or visit

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2016 Safe Cities Conference

The Safe Cities Conference will be held at the Pullman Melbourne on the Park in the Australian state of Victoria on 22 and 23 August 2016. The Safe Cities Conference will provide a platform of discussion for safety and security professionals Australia-wide, and will include workshops, presentations and forums to share experiences and the challenges of designing, planning and maintaining safe places to live.

Abstracts for presentations at the conference are currently being accepted.

The Safe Cities Conference Program will be designed to challenge, demonstrate and encourage discussion on all areas of safety and security within communities. Covering topics that include the four thematic categories from the Safe Cities Index 2015 (Digital Security, Health Security, Infrastructure Safety and Personal Safety).

The Conference aims to attract a range of professionals that work within the safety and security sector, in government and in the business and community sectors. It will focus on the transfer of knowledge aimed at reducing crime and improving community safety at the grass-roots level in cities, suburbs and regional towns.

Confirmed keynote Speakers include Nicole Matejic , CEO of Info Ops HQ; Professor Andrew Markus of the School of Philosophy, Historical and International Studies in Monash University; and Rodger Watson, Deputy Director, of UTS’ Designing Out Crime Research Centre, among others.

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Apollo to buy ADT for $6.9 billion

ADT, a leading provider of monitored security, interactive home and business automation and related monitoring services has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by Apollo and co-investors and merged with Protection 1, a leading full-service business and home security company.

The purchase price is USD 42.00 per share, which represents a premium of approximately 56% over ADT’s closing share price on 12 February 2016. The headquarters of the combined company will remain in Boca Raton, Florida, and the combined company will operate primarily under the ADT brand.

The Board of Directors of ADT unanimously approved the transaction. The acquisition of ADT is expected to be completed by June 2016. The transaction is subject to the conclusion of the applicable antitrust waiting periods in the United States and Canada, ADT stockholder approval and other customary closing conditions.

“This transaction represents a highly attractive premium for ADT’s shareholders,” said Naren Gursahaney, President and CEO of ADT.  “We’re proud to have strengthened the quality of our customer base, improved service and retention, and extended our leadership in innovative solutions such as our ADT Pulse platform and our new Security-as-a-Service offering, ADT Canopy.

“By combining Protection 1 with ADT, we will be better positioned to expand the breadth and depth of the services we offer to our customers throughout the United States and Canada.”

“The combined company will be a market leader with a powerful brand and scale resulting in an enhanced overall customer experience,” said Timothy J. Whall, President and CEO of Protection 1, who will be the CEO of the combined business following the closing of the transaction.  “In addition, Protection 1’s robust commercial presence will speed ADT’s expansion into the commercial sector supported by increasing commercial sales and technical skills across a well matched national footprint.”

“We are tremendously excited by this unique opportunity to combine two premier businesses,” said Marc Becker, Senior Partner at Apollo. “This transaction provides the opportunity to dramatically enhance our position in the large, fragmented and growing residential and business interactive electronic monitoring industry. 

The merger agreement includes a “go-shop” period, during which ADT and its Board of Directors may actively solicit, receive, evaluate and potentially enter into negotiations with parties that offer alternative proposals during a 40-day period following the execution date of the definitive agreement.

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Axis introduces new free web tool for system integrators and installers

Axis Communications, the market leader in network video, today introduced AXIS Site Designer tool. This tool offers system integrators and installers a highly efficient way to design complete surveillance solutions for small-to-medium-sized installations. The tool saves time when specifying and designing end-to-end solutions for sites with up to 100 cameras.

The app features a selection of templates for common installation scenarios. A visual camera selector recommends cameras based on operational requirements such as required resolution, camera coverage and light conditions. It is easy to find the right mounts and other accessories for any camera, since the tool only presents compatible components. A storage calculator provides recommendations for suitable recording solutions based on typical scenarios. Finally, the tool produces a complete bill of materials that includes all components in the system.

AXIS Site Designer is a web application that works online and offline. It is ideal for quick and easy on-site system design using tablets or laptops, even without an Internet connection. It allows installers and integrators to work on multiple projects on the go, and to sync them through the MyAxis portal when online.

“We know that for our partners, time and efficiency is key to running their businesses,” says Peter Friberg, Director of System and Services, Axis Communications. “This is why we have developed AXIS Site Designer. It is a time-saving and easy to use tool that helps our partners design and implement an optimized security solution for their customers, without requiring in-depth knowledge of Axis products.

“The intuitive interface eliminates guesswork and makes professional site design much faster and more accurate, ensuring higher customer satisfaction.”

AXIS Site Designer can be accessed for free at The tool can be used with tablets, laptops or PCs.

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New chair for New Zealand Fire Service Board

Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne today announced the appointment of the Hon Paul Swain as chair of the Board of the New Zealand Fire Service Commission for a three-year term from 1 April 2016.

Mr Dunne announced last November that New Zealand’s rural and urban fire services would be merged into a unified organisation. “The sector is facing significant change as we build a fit-for-purpose, 21st century fire service capable of serving both rural and urban communities,” said Mr Dunne.

“Mr Swain brings an extensive knowledge of the fire services sector to the role, along with change management expertise. I’m confident his mix of skills and experience is going to be an asset to the new Board,” said the Minister.

Mr Swain, a former Member of Parliament and Minister, led an independent Fire Review in 2012 that recommended changes.  In response, the Government sought a wider review that looked also at mandate and governance, legislation modernisation, funding, rural and urban fire services structures, coordination with other emergency services, and volunteer and workforce support.

That review led to the decision last year to merge New Zealand’s fire services.

Mr Dunne paid tribute to the Rt Hon Wyatt Creech who has served on the Commission for seven years. Mr Creech was appointed as Deputy Chair in 2009 and has been Chair since 2012.

“The leadership of Mr Creech and his fellow Commissioners has been critical in ensuring that New Zealand’s fire services are ready for the changes ahead,” he said.

The Commission has implemented a new strategic direction (Vision 2020), has forged strong relationships with its stakeholders, and has embarked on a significant rebuild of its Canterbury stations following the earthquakes.

Mr Dunne said the groundwork laid by Mr Creech in response to the 2012 review had been crucial to the success of the current Fire Services Review.

There will be further appointments to the new Board made in the next few weeks. Mr Dunne also said he expected to make announcements in the next couple of months about funding for the new unified fire services organisation.

The New Zealand Fire Service Commission is a Crown entity that controls the New Zealand Fire Service and also acts as the National Rural Fire Authority.

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