Fitters and Turners getting worse

During my short time wearing camo and carting machine-guns around the wastes of Waiouru we call the cooks that served up the “food” on base “Fitters and Turners”.

They fit food into pots and turned it into shit.

Seems they are getting worse.

A former soldier and SAS member says food served at the Waiouru Army camp was so bad, he and fellow soldiers broke the rules to cook their own food in their barracks.

Earlier this week APNZ reported some Defence Force troops based at the camp were so frustrated by “disgusting” meals they set up a Facebook page to highlight what they’re served.

The page, titled ‘Waiouru’s delectable delights’, has now been taken down from the social network website, but it showed pre-packaged meals with stews and mashed foods and one soup that appeared to be vegetables immersed in a watery liquid. 

Mike Ledingham, who served served as a corporal in the army infantry and as an SAS soldier between 1970 and 1985, said during his time it was well-known that if troops were eating at Waiouru, they would normally be served “fatty meat and bubble and squeak”.

He has written a book about his time in the Defence Force, titled Once A Grunt, and devoted a chapter to the food served at Waiouru.

While on a training course there, Mr Ledingham and others in his unit bought a gas cooker and cooked bacon bones in the barracks.

They were caught by the Orderly Officer who threatened to put the group on charge, before asking what was wrong with the camp food.

One of the soldiers told the officer he had complained twice about the food.

“The officer said, ‘What happened then?’ and the soldier said ‘It got worse’,” Mr Ledingham said.

Heh, the old Army way…perhaps it is time we looked at outsourcing catering and replacing the “fitters and turners”.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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