15 May 2018
The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) has now established a Special Inquiry Office in anticipation of its participation in the Government inquiry into Operation Burnham and related matters.
Commodore Mathew Williams, previously Deputy Chief of the Royal New Zealand Navy, will lead the NZDF Inquiry Office and Paul Radich, QC, has been instructed as legal counsel to work alongside military legal personnel.
The Chief of Defence Force, Lieutenant General Tim Keating, said the Defence Force was taking the inquiry seriously.
“The New Zealand Defence Force will fully participate and work with other Government agencies to fulfil our obligations to the inquiry. Administration, legal and research staff will also join the office in due course – the team is expected to consist of up to 12 staff supported by other personnel as required,” Lieutenant General Keating said.
“From recent discussions I’ve had with the Ombudsman, I believe the Defence Force can do better at how we make information available to the public,” he said.
“In the interests of transparency I have released the official Directive document that states the role and responsibilities of the office so the public will have an informed understanding of the significant time and resources being invested in properly participating in the inquiry from the Defence Force.”
The NZDF intends to release on the NZDF website all OIA responses in relation to this matter.