12 April 2013
TFESC Chairman Peter Townsend, Defence Minister Dr. Jonathan Coleman, Fulton Hogan’s Executive Manager - Infrastructure Brian Kirtlan and Chief of Defence Force, Lieutenant General Rhys Jones at the Territorial Forces Employers Support Council Awards evening at Parliament.
Construction company, Fulton Hogan has won the NZ Defence Force’s National Employer of the Year award at a special ceremony at Parliament on Tuesday night. The award, which recognises employers who are committed to supporting Reserve Forces personnel in their workplace, was presented by the Minister of Defence Dr Jonathan Coleman. Also present were the Chief of the New Zealand Defence Force, Lieutenant General Rhys Jones, and representatives from the nominated companies.
Fulton Hogan was chosen from seven finalists drawn from regional awards throughout the country.
Fulton Hogan’s Executive Manager - Infrastructure, Brian Kirtlan, says having Territorial Soldiers in the workplace is a win-win.
"Employees who additionally serve as Territorial Soldiers bring exceptional leadership and communication skills into the workplace.
"Civilian companies are able to leverage off the soldiers' experience working with others in highly demanding situations, such as those they experience whilst working in the military. This makes them a real asset to any company, especially in such a fast paced industry as construction," said Mr Kirtlan.
Fulton Hogan were nominated by Sub Lieutenant (SLT) Nick Hobbs for the support he received from his employer before, during and after his recent deployment to Afghanistan. Sub Lieutenant Hobbs was overwhelmed by the support they gave him and his family during this deployment especially as he had only worked for the firm for a short period.
TFESC Chairman Peter Townsend said he is encouraged and delighted to see employers supporting their staff members’ involvement in the Reserve Forces especially in these challenging economic times.
"Employers can only gain from encouraging their employee’s involvement in the Reserve Forces.
"In return for their support they get highly motivated and energised employees that are self-assured team players with excellent problem solving and communication skills," said Mr Townsend.
Other awards presented included the Public Sector ward which was awarded to the New Zealand Customs Service for their support of Lance Corporal (LCPL) Mike Brown of 3/6 Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment (RNZIR).
LCPL Brown’s says Customs have been very supportive in allowing him leave to attend military training and operations during his nine years with the Territorial Force including operational deployments to the Solomon Islands and Christchurch following the earthquake.
The private sector award was won by Scott Technology Limited from the Otago Region for their support to Captain (CAPT) John Aitken. Not only did Scott Technology support CAPT Aitken during his recent operational tour to Timor Leste, but also on his return where he attended training nights, field exercises, charter parades, a Staff Officer’s Course and other responsibilities as an RNZIR Officer.
CAPT Aitken said his employment with Scott Technologies prepared him for the difficulties and complexity of his role as the Plans and Operations Officer in the Joint Task Headquarters in Timor Leste.
Mr Richard Aimers of Scott Technology said "We have a long history of support to the Territorial Forces and recognise the value that military service brings to the workplace and we have worked hard to cultivate this relationship."
For further information please contact Todd O'Hara, Defence Communications Group on 021 626 578.
The Reserve Forces of the New Zealand Defence Force and are made up of the Royal New Zealand Naval Volunteer Reserve, the Territorial Force of the NZ Army and the Territorial Air Force. Currently there are over 2,300 territorial reservists serving in the NZ Defence Force.
The Reserve Forces provide a well-integrated, part-time military personnel that supplement NZ Defence Force Regular Force elements deploying on and supporting operations and providing vital additional personnel and skills, including highly valued specialist trades.
While changes to the Reserve Forces have been publicly announced recently the Reserves remain an integral part of the Defence Force. The Army Reserve is being restructured to ensure that its functions and capabilities are aligned to NZDF outputs in the most efficient and cost effective way.
For more information go to http://reserves.mil.nz/default.htm