Chief of Defence Force, LT GEN Tim Keating addresses families at Whenuapai during the Force 4 Families launch on 14 May
15 May 2015
A new discount card and online information hub launched yesterday are the next steps in better supporting Defence Families, says Chief of Defence Force, Lieutenant General Tim Keating.
He joined with Defence families who brought the initiatives to fruition at Whenuapai Airbase yesterday, where the Chief of Defence reiterated his priority of ensuring Defence families are backed, particularly when their loved ones are deployed.
“The website and discount card are the first in a range of initiatives aimed at providing better support services to Defence families, and ensuring they’re as resilient as possible,” says LT GEN Keating.
All the initiatives come under the Defence Force’s new Force 4 Families banner. These first two projects are important in that they have been driven by a team of volunteers made up of Defence Force partners, including the Chief of Defence Force’s wife Brenda Keating.
“We came together with the shared purpose of identifying practical improvements that will make a difference to Defence Force families,” says Mrs Keating.
“Our belief is that when we are stronger as families, and are well connected with the Defence Force, we make it easier for our partners to be successful carrying out their important roles for the Defence Force and for New Zealand.
“The Defence Discount Card brings together a group of fantastic retailers who have for some time offered discounts to people with Defence Force IDs. Now those same discounts are available to the immediate family, so they can access discounts even when a partner might be deployed or away from their families.
“The new website brings together all the support that’s on offer to Defence Force families – everything from camp and base contacts, to holiday accommodation, to advice to families with deployed partners.”
Also speaking at the launch was Suzy Griffiths, the wife of HMNZS TE KAHA’s Commanding Officer, who is currently deployed off the coast of Africa as part of an international maritime task group.
“Traditionally, many years ago, the captain’s wife used to host lunches where she’d communicate to the other Navy wives any news from the ship and this is how they all stayed in the loop. How times have changed,” says Mrs Griffiths.
“In this digital era there is no excuse to no longer be connected, in fact it’s expected. The Force 4 Families initiative will see us all better connected to the Defence Force’s welfare and wellbeing services available to us. It’s great that they are focussed on strengthening communications with us, and it’s a real show of commitment to us families working the home-front, which goes a long way to making us feel valued.”
For more information please contact Defence Public Affairs on 021 487 980