Another day, another silly enquiry and this one will cost $2 million

The government seem to announce enquiries on a daily basis, the latest being into the SAS and Operation Burnham. Quote.

The Government has announced it will go ahead with an inquiry into allegations of civilian deaths at the hands of Kiwi SAS soldiers.

Attorney-general David Parker said questions remained over what happened during Operation Burnham – a raid on a village in Afghanistan in 2010 – which was detailed in Hit and Run, written by Nicky Hager and Jon Stephenson.

The book alleges the raid resulted in the deaths of six civilians, including a small child, and the wounding of 15 others.

The former National government refused to hold an inquiry into the allegations surrounding Operation Burnham, despite the pleas from parents who say their girl was killed during the operation.

“In deciding whether to initiate an inquiry I have considered material including certain video footage of the operation,” Parker said.

The footage I have reviewed does not seem to me to corroborate some key aspects of the book Hit & Run.

“The footage suggests that there was a group of armed individuals in the village.

“However, the material I have seen does not conclusively answer some of the questions raised by the authors.

“In light of that, and bearing in mind the need for the public to have confidence in the NZDF, I have decided in the public interest that an inquiry is warranted.”

Commissioning this inquiry does not mean the Government accepts the criticisms of the actions of SAS forces on the ground, although their conduct is squarely within the inquiry’s purview and will be thoroughly examined, Parker said.

The inquiry will be carried out by former Supreme Court judge Sir Terence Arnold and Sir Geoffrey Palmer.

“Given the classified nature of some information that will be made available to the inquiry, it is possible that two forms of report will be provided; one a public version and a second version referring to classified or confidential information,” Parker said.

The inquiry has an initial budget of $2 million. End quote.

So, even Parker doesn’t really believe Hager or Stevenson. What a waste of $2 million. The government claim that they haven’t got enough money for health and education infrastructure but they do have enough money to hold a silly enquiry.

The NZDF issued this press release: Quote.

The New Zealand Defence Force stands by the accounts of Operation Burnham it has provided to the Government and public.

The Government has announced today it will conduct an inquiry into the 2010 operation in Afghanistan in which the NZSAS were involved, specifically Operation Burnham and related events.

The operation was the subject of the book Hit and Run.

Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant General Tim Keating says the book contains errors.

Operation Burnham was an ISAF operation involving the NZSAS and Afghan Crisis Response Unit (CRU). The operation was well planned out and was mandated by the New Zealand Government. It was lawfully carried out, with clear rules of engagement, Lieutenant General Keating says.

“At all times throughout this operation our NZSAS acted professionally and conducted themselves to the high standards expected of our special forces,” he says.

Lieutenant General Keating says the NZDF will be cooperating fully with the inquiry and he looks forward to the inquiry confirming the facts.  He welcomes the calibre of the people appointed to undertake it, former Supreme Court Judge Sir Terence Arnold and Sir Geoffrey Palmer. End quote.

This will be a waste of time, but a good way to feather the nest of Sir Geoffrey Palmer.

What a complete waste of time, money and effort.


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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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