INDEPENDENT NEWS

NZDF Statement on Hager/Stephenson Book

Published: Sun 26 Mar 2017 10:11 PM
NZDF Statement on Hager/Stephenson Book
The central premise of Nicky Hager and Jon Stephenson’s book, Hit and Run, is incorrect, says the Chief of Defence Force, Lieutenant General Tim Keating.
NZDF troops never operated in the two villages identified in the book as having been the scene of combat operations and civilian casualties.
Since the release of the book, the New Zealand Defence Force has spent considerable time reviewing the claims contained in it, despite the allegations of civilian casualties being the subject of a NATO investigation in 2010.
Upon review of Hit and Run, it is evident there are some major inaccuracies – the main one being the location and names of the villages where the authors claim civilians were killed and property was destroyed wilfully during a New Zealand-led operation.
The villages are named in the book as Naik and Khak Khuday Dad, but the NZDF can confirm that NZDF personnel have never operated in these villages.
The authors appear to have confused interviews, stories and anecdotes from locals with an operation conducted more than two kilometres to the south, known as Operation Burnham.
The villages in the Hager and Stephenson book and the settlement which was the site of Operation Burnham, called Tirgiran, are separated by mountainous and difficult terrain.
The NZDF has used the geographical references in the book and cross-referenced them with our own material.
During Operation Burnham, New Zealand was supported by coalition partners, which included air support capacity as previously reported.
The ISAF investigation determined that a gun sight malfunction on a coalition helicopter resulted in several rounds falling short, missing the intended target and instead striking two buildings.
This investigation concluded that this may have resulted in civilian casualties but no evidence of this was established.
Hit and Run does not prove civilian casualties were sustained in the village where Operation Burnham took place.
The NZDF reiterates its position that New Zealand personnel acted appropriately during this operation and were not involved in the deaths of civilians or any untoward destruction of property.
The NZDF welcomes anyone with information relevant to Operation Burnham to come forward and be assured that any allegations of offending by NZDF personnel would be taken seriously and investigated in accordance with our domestic and international legal obligations.
ENDS

Next in New Zealand politics

Government announces new red zone payment
By: New Zealand Government
Gordon Campbell on MPs pay and the REAL p.c. danger zone
By: Gordon Campbell
Emotional day as remains of NZ service people return home
By: New Zealand Government
Commissioner details allocation of 1800 police
By: New Zealand Police
Concern for those in aged care facilities without consent
By: Human Rights Commission
Green leadership stands firm on waka jumping bill at AGM
By: RNZ
New Leadership for The Opportunities Party
By: The Opportunities Party
Gordon Campbell on another reason to loathe HR departments
By: Gordon Campbell
Red Zone payment creates risk for Crown
By: New Zealand National Party
Human Rights Commission backs red zone property offer
By: Human Rights Commission
Red zone bailout is disgraceful
By: New Zealand Taxpayers' Union
PM's Press Conference 20/8/18: MP Pay, Nauru, Antarctica
By: The Scoop Team
MP pay frozen and fairer system for increases developed
By: New Zealand Government
Performance pay for chief executives ended
By: New Zealand Government
Green Party backs pay freeze for MPs
By: Green Party
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILEWe're in BETA! Send Feedback © Scoop Media