Release of the Report of the Expert Review Group
On 15 November 2021 the Minister of Defence publicly released the Report of the Expert Review Group. The Expert Review Group was established in response to recommendation one of the Government Inquiry into Operation Burnham and related matters.
The Report is available from the Ministry’s website and the Minister’s press release is available from the Beehive website:
the Expert Review Group publication is available here: https://www.defence.govt.nz/publications/publication/report-of-the-expert-review-group(external link).
- the Minister of Defence's press release is available here: https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/report-stemming-operation-burnham-inquiry-recommends-improvements(external link).
The Minister of Defence has accepted the report of the Expert Review Group and its nine recommendations.
The report contains the Expert Review Group’s findings and recommendations on four key areas, based on the issues identified in the Inquiry report and the terms of reference set by Cabinet:
- legislative and working arrangements between the NZDF, the Ministry of Defence and other government agencies on complex operational deployments
- the structure, function and purpose of Headquarters NZDF (HQNZDF)
- the role, culture and structure of New Zealand’s Special Forces
- the NZDF’s information management systems and practices and the flow of defence knowledge to the Minister of Defence.
Three overarching themes cut across the findings and recommendations. These themes relate to social licence, democratic oversight and transparency.
The Expert Review Group’s thinking was influenced by an opinion prepared by the Crown Law Office, available here: https://www.defence.govt.nz/publications/publication/crown-law-opinion-role-of-mod-advising-ministers-and-cabinet-on-operational-deployments(external link).
The November 2021 Cabinet documents regarding the report have also been released. Several related documents have been previously released, including:
the Terms of Reference for the Expert Review Group(external link)
updates on the progress of the Expert Review Group, dated November 2020(external link) and February 2021(external link).
Further information is available from the page about the Report on the Expert Review Group.