Friday, August 2, 2013


A judge has found that the Army was "highly culpable" in the death of a soldier during a training exercise last year.     29-year-old Private Michael Ross was tipped from a poorly-inflated boat during an exercise where he was carrying about 20 kilograms of equipment, including a machine gun.

An inquiry into the incident found that Private Ross could not have inflated his life jacket because its gas canister was empty.

Last week, the NZ Defence Force pleaded guilty to a charge of negligence brought by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).

In his decision convicting the NZDF, Judge O'Driscoll noted that the Army had already paid the Ross family $240,000 in reparations.     He commended them for that.

Someone may care to explain how this tragic incident differed from the ANZAC Day Iroquois crash.   I blogged about it here.

Both incidents were the result of bad planning and faulty execution.    In the latest case the family received substantial reparations.    In the earlier one and to the best of my knowledge the families received zip, zero, nothing.

What's the difference?


Richard Christie said...

What's the difference?

probably about 1.5 million dollars.

LesterPK said...

The thing about the NZDF getting credit for 240K of reparations grates a bit. 15K was funeral costs, something that as he died while serving, they are obligated to pay anyway, then there was 140K in life insurance, which is funded by his salary, so the NZDF really only paid out 80k or so above what they had to anyway.

AngryTory said...

hen there was 140K in life insurance, which is funded by his salary

no - because commercial life insurance doesn't cover training or serving in the armed forces. This is just yet more cash handed over by taxpayers yet again.

Noel said...

Yup would agree with you.
Take away the ex gratia payment from the Welfare fund and the remainder is simply an obligation under the Defence Act.
Angry Tory.
No it's not the deceased own commercial life insurance.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Angry Tory

I think you'll find the military has its own 'group life insurance scheme' for its members, funded by a levy on salary. It is NOT a hand out from tax payers.

LesterPK said...

Indeed, the NZDF personnel pay part of their salary into a retirement account, Kiwisaver these days, it used to be a private fund run by Mercer. It was used to fund your retirement and it also had a life insurance component, normal payout was 3 times your annual salary but they first paid out any funds you were entitled to at time of death (i.e. your own investment), and it was topped up to the 3x salary amount.