Award winners (OH09-0211-14)
8 April 2009
Employers who are committed to supporting their Reserve Force employees in their workplace were rewarded at a special ceremony at Parliament last night.
The three award categories: national, public and wider state sector, and private sector, were presented by the Associate Minister of Defence Heather Roy.
The national prize, the Territorial Forces Employer Support Council (TFESC) Employer of the Year Award was presented to Waitemata Police District for the support shown to their employee Senior Sergeant Chris Powell.
North Shore Area Commander Les Paterson who actively encourages the use of leadership skills and techniques learned by members of the Reserve Forces to develop his own staff accepted the award from the Minister.
He said that receiving this award means “gaining leverage to help lead the way and educate employers about the benefits of allowing and even encouraging staff to join the Reserve Forces.
“TF Service isn’t about young men and women smearing on camo paint or marching around a parade ground; it’s about very intensive training in technical and people skills that someone else will provide for your staff at almost no cost to your own organisation.
“My message to employers is that rather than viewing releasing staff for military service as an inconvenience or frustration, get innovative and look on it as an opportunity, not only for that person’s development, but as to what you can do with the position in their absence. It can be used to develop others or even provide some personnel budget savings if business or attrition is going through a quiet period.
Allowing participation in the Reserve Forces is a chance to “grow” your staff and do something really great for all of New Zealand at the same time.”
The public and wider state sector award was won by the Ministry of Health for their support of two staff members who were deployed to Afghanistan over the same period of time in 2008.
The private sector category was won by Silver Fern Farms, a meat processing and marketing plant based in Timaru, which has a long history of supporting Reserve Force officers and soldiers, particularly for operational deployments.
Minister Roy said that the awards recognise the timeless bond between society and its protectors. “All the employers here tonight – and many who are not – have gone beyond what the law required them to do, in order to help New Zealand play its role in the world, and to keep Kiwis safe.”
The Reserve Forces of the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) are made up of the Royal New Zealand Naval Volunteer Reserve (RNZNVR), the Territorial Force of the NZ Army (TF) and the Territorial Air Force (TAF). Currently there are over 2,200 territorial reservists serving in the NZDF.
Image Caption details: Award winners (L to R): Alan Hesketh, Deputy Director-General, Health Information Directorate, Ministry of Health; Inspector Les Paterson, North Shore Area Commander, New Zealand Police; Associate Minister of Defence Heather Roy; Wayne Shaw, South Island Operations Manager, Silver Fern Farms; Lieutenant General Jerry Mateparae, Chief of Defence Force.
Reserve Force personnel carry out regular training, are deployed on overseas operations and fill vacancies in the Regular Forces. A 44-strong platoon made up primarily of territorial force personnel from the 3rd Auckland Northland and 6th Hauraki Battalions, are the ninth rotation to support the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI). Operations such as RAMSI offer Reserve members of the military the opportunity to take on the challenges that they would experience full-time in the Army and the civilian skills they bring are often invaluable when working with the local population.
For the full citations or for further information about the TF visit http://army.mil.nz/our-army/army-reserve/default.htm for information about the RNZNVR visit http://navy.mil.nz/naval-reserve/default.htm
For further information please contact Ally Clelland, Defence Communications Group
04 496 0273 or 021 569 130.
Currently 427 New Zealand Defence Force personnel are deployed on 14 operations, UN missions and defence exercises around the world.