Proposals for Establishing an Independent Inspector-General of Defence in New Zealand - Consultation Document
This consultation document was provided to stakeholders as part of the targeted consultation process for the Inspector-General of Defence proposals.
Further details regarding this work are provided on this Story: https://www.defence.govt.nz/the-latest/story/establishing-an-independent-inspector-general-of-defence(external link)
Annex D of the consultation document is NZDF's Defence Force Order 35 - New Zealand Defence Force Response to Civilian Harm(external link).
Frequently Asked Questions about the Inspector-General of Defence (IGD) proposals
What is the IGD intended to do?
The current proposal is for the IGD to have three functions:
an investigation function: with appropriate supporting powers, to scrutinise and respond to issues that have occurred;
an assessment function: to assess processes, procedures and policies, and identify gaps to prevent issues from occurring in the future; and
an enquiry function: to request information to support the IGD’s understanding of the NZDF’s operational activities in an evolving defence context.
What will the IGD be able to look into?
It is proposed that the IGD would be able to look into all NZDF activities. It would not be able to look into the activities of Veterans’ Affairs New Zealand, which is a semi-autonomous unit within the NZDF.
Veteran’s Affairs is accountable to the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and unlike the rest of the NZDF, operates under the requirements of the Veterans’ Support Act 2014, rather than the Defence Act 1990.
Who will the IGD be independent from?
It is proposed that the IGD would operate independently including from the NZDF, the Ministry of Defence, and Ministers. Strong independence ensures that the IGD would not be overly influenced by or reliant on others when initiating or undertaking its work. This level of independence would also give Ministers and the public reassurance about the integrity of the IGD’s work.
How much will it cost to establish the IGD and to run annually?
The Budget for the establishment of the IDG is yet to be determined. The funding detail will depend on the final proposals agreed by the Government following targeted consultation.
When will the IGD be established?
New legislation (i.e. a bill) would need to be passed to establish the proposed IGD.
At this early stage it is estimated that the IGD would be up and running within a year of a bill passing. This timing is subject to the Government deciding to introduce a bill to the House of Representatives, and then the bill being passed into law.
Who is the Government consulting with on the proposals to establish an IGD?
The Government has reached out to seek views of interested stakeholders, with a range of diverse perspectives. This includes relevant legal experts and academics, Māori representatives, veterans’ organisations, non-governmental organisations, the Inquiry authors, and the authors of the book Hit and Run.
The Government isn’t consulting with me, and I have a view – what should I do?
If you would like to submit comments now, the proposed design of the IGD is set out in the consultation document. Page 30 of the consultation document sets out the specific questions the Government is seeking feedback on. You can email your comments to IGDconsultation@defence.govt.nz. In your email, please specify if you do not wish your name, personal information or your submission to be made public (see page 3 of the consultation document for more details). The consultation period ends on 13 December 2021.
After the targeted consultation period is over and if new legislation (i.e. a bill) is introduced next year, you and any other interested parties would have an opportunity to have a say on the proposals as part of the Select Committee process. Individuals and organisations are able to make written and oral submissions to the Select Committee that is considering the bill. The Select Committee would then consider what submitters have told them, along with advice from officials, and share the committee’s findings and recommendations with Parliament.
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