Manawatu Woman Supports NZDF’s Dental Outreach in Hawke’s Bay

Source: New Zealand Defence Force

27 March 2019

Residents of Bulls may have noticed that a flower van called Ferdinand that was doing business at a local park had been missing in action in the past two weeks.

The reason was that owner Rene’e Mudgway, who is a New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) Reservist dental hygienist, had been taking part in an NZDF dental outreach in Hawke’s Bay.

During the exercise, which ran from 11-22 March, New Zealand Army Sergeant Mudgway was part of a 30-member NZDF contingent that worked with Hawke’s Bay District Health Board to raise oral health awareness in the region by providing oral health education and treatment.

The outreach, called Exercise Wisdom Tooth, provided oral health care and treatment and visited schools to teach children about the importance of good oral health, Sergeant Mudgway said.

““It was great to connect with the community. It was also great to catch up and work with other members of the NZDF’s health team,” she said.
Sergeant Mudgway, who is originally from the coastal village of Houhora, about 30 minutes north of Kaitaia, said enlisting in the military was a leap of faith that led to a rewarding career.

“Service life sounded like a good adventure so my 17-year-old self took a chance,” she said.

Despite having two elder sisters in the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF), Sergeant Mudgway enlisted in the New Zealand Army in 1998, a few months after graduating from Kaitaia College.

“I wanted to pave my own path, so I ticked the green box instead of the blue,” she said.

Initially she worked as a telecommunications operator and deployed to Bougainville and East Timor.

However, in 2004 she became a dental assistant and joined the Royal New Zealand Dental Corps. Three years later, the Army supported her in pursuing a bachelor’s degree in oral health from University of Otago.

“I’ve had so many amazing opportunities during my career – from deployments to a trade change to three years at university.”

The NZDF also supported her and her husband, who is an RNZAF Reservist, through flexible work opportunities as they balanced their busy work/life schedules, she said.


Death of RNZN Sailor

Source: New Zealand Defence Force

27 March 2019

The New Zealand Defence Force is saddened to confirm that Able Communications Technician Zachary Christopher Yarwood (23) died in North Shore Hospital yesterday following an incident during a dive training exercise on Monday night at the Devonport Naval Base.

Able Communications Technician Yarwood joined the Royal New Zealand Navy in 2013 and served in HMNZS Te Kaha and Philomel. At the time of the incident, he was on an advanced diver training course, looking to join HMNZS Matataua as a qualified diver.
“My condolences are with Zachary’s fiancée, his parents and his two beloved brothers as they, along with us, come to terms with his passing,” said Chief of Navy Rear Admiral David Proctor.
“Today the Navy is mourning a young sailor who had already packed so much into his career and embodied our core values of courage, commitment and comradeship in everything he did,” said Rear Admiral Proctor. “Zachary’s loss will affect not only his family, but many within the Navy and the wider NZDF whanau.” 

Able Communications Technician Yarwood’s family are being supported by a Family Liaison Officer, his shipmates and the Royal New Zealand Navy. The NZDF requests that their privacy is respected at this difficult time.

Police, WorkSafe NZ and the Coroner are investigating the incident. The NZDF will be conducting a Court of Inquiry.


Hawke’s Bay Soldier Gives Back to Home Town

Source: New Zealand Defence Force

27 March 2019

The New Zealand Defence Force’s (NZDF) recent outreach programme in Hawke’s Bay gave Staff Sergeant Jonathan Pritchard a chance to share his skills with children in his home town.

During the outreach, which was called Exercise Wisdom Tooth and was conducted from 11-22 March, the NZDF teamed up with Hawke’s Bay District Health Board to provide oral health care information, dental care and treatment.

The combined team of military and civilian personnel also ran sessions at schools to highlight the importance of good oral health and healthy lifestyle choices, and provide defence career information.

Staff Sergeant Pritchard, a physical training instructor who was born and raised in Hastings, ran fitness challenges along with his colleague Corporal Elenoa Lilo  at a number of schools as part of the exercise.

“I was super excited to be working for the first time with Hawke’s Bay kids,” said Staff Sergeant Pritchard, who helps manage the gymnasium at Burnham Military Camp near Christchurch.

“One of the schools we visited was my former high school, Hastings Boys’ High School, and I really looked forward to it. Being able to give something back to my home town is undoubtedly a highlight.”

Staff Sergeant Pritchard also got to spend time with his parents at the end of the exercise.

Together with a cousin, Staff Sergeant Pritchard enlisted in the New Zealand Army after graduating from high school in 1998. He deployed on operations in Timor-Leste and Bosnia and took part in international exercises in Australia and Singapore.

He started as a gunner at 161 Battery and trained to become a physical training instructor in 2004.

“I have had varied opportunities in my Army career and I am looking forward to more interesting opportunities in the future.”


Substantial growth expected in the NZ agritech sector


Tauranga – Kiwis can expect to see substantial growth in the agritech sector in the next 12 months, AgritechNZ chief executive Peter Wren-Hilton says.

Recent research suggests that New Zealand had approximately $1.4 billion worth of agritech exports in 2018 and was growing at a compound annual growth rate of four percent but New Zealand is underperforming in the absolute size of agritech exports despite good growth.

For example, Israel, a tiny desert state the size of the West Coast, exports approximately 10 times as much agritech as New Zealand, Wren-Hilton says.

“Global agritech investment is growing rapidly, with investment in 2018 estimated at more than $US2.5 billion,” he says.

“With New Zealand’s traditional strengths in agriculture and our growing strengths in tech, this is an opportunity we should pursue with vigour.

“There is an enormous opportunity for New Zealand to use technology as a means to support the economic growth of our agri sector and to also work with the sector to become a world leader in a fast growing agritech market.

“We are going to hear a lot more about agritech during Techweek with a special nationwide webcast AgritechNZ event on May 25.

“We face massive global challenges for feeding the world, while not destroying the planet. We will soon see more investment in agri-technologies such as alternative proteins, on-farm robotics, vertical farming and nutrient management systems. These all take time to build.

“The New Zealand agritech market is coming of age. It is a great test market for addressing global farming challenges such as nutrient management and cleaning waterways, dealing with labour shortages and producing healthier food. Yet more needs to be done to help Kiwi agritech companies scale globally faster.”

“The rural sector is rapidly changing. Consumer demand and global trends means New Zealand farmers need to embrace innovation to be able to compete and thrive in this new and exciting environment,” Wren-Hilton says.

AgritechNZ is part of the NZ Tech Alliance.

For further information contact Make Lemonade editor-in-chief Kip Brook on 0275 030188


NZ can do better on digital privacy


Wellington – New Zealand can do better than to accept that just two percent of people trust social media to look after their information, when 75 percent of Kiwis go ahead anyway, Digital Identity NZ executive director Andrew Weaver says.

He was commenting on Symantec’s latest Insights Report which shines a light on the challenge Kiwis face in an increasingly online world.

“We have a real paradox as just two percent of people believe social media players keep their data private, but three quarters of people go ahead anyway,” Weaver says.

“This makes more sense when we see that 85 percent of people want to do more to protect their privacy, but less than half have any idea how to do it.

“We would go further and suggest that a large number of companies with an online presence do not offer their customers meaningful and accessible options when it comes to doing business with them – a my way or the highway approach. Surely we can do better.

Digital Identity NZ is an organisation committed to improving access, security and privacy for anyone interacting online.

“We have commissioned our partner, Yabble, to undertake further research in this area. In particular, focusing on the emerging concept of self-sovereign identity. At its core, self-sovereign identity is about giving individuals, who are the true owners of personal data, secure and simple to use ways of ‘doing business’ online, without sacrificing their privacy.

“We want to find a better way; bringing together government, iwi, businesses, technology providers, innovators, educators and academics to put people at the centre of the discussion and to give them the choice and the means to protect themselves.

“We want to bridge the gap and empower the 54 percent of Kiwis who currently don’t know what to do to protect their privacy,” he says.

Digital Identity NZ is part of the NZ Tech Alliance.

For further information contact Make Lemonade NZ editor-in-chief Kip Brook on275030188

Photo: Andrew Weaver


Army Captains Finish Epic Walk for Son

Source: New Zealand Defence Force

25 March 2019

New Zealand Army Captains Laura and Tane North have finished their epic walk to raise money for their son’s medical treatment, and 700 kilometres on they still have a spring in their step.

Elijah, 3-1/2, the third of the Upper Hutt couple’s four children, was born with microcephaly and an undiagnosed genetic condition. The microcephaly means he has a small head because of abnormal brain development, and the genetic condition affects most of his body. He cannot speak, is legally blind, is fed through a tube and has a total of 14 health issues.

He has made huge progress following four three-week treatment sessions at the Neurological and Physical Abilitation Centre in Australia. His parents want to take him back for more treatment and aimed to raise the $56,000 required to give him four more three-week sessions over the next two years by walking from Wellington to Auckland over 11 days.

Three days into their journey they were shocked and saddened by the Christchurch mosque shootings, and Captain Laura North said the victims and their families had been in their minds.

“Our thoughts have been with the Muslim community throughout the walk. The tragedy that those families are experiencing is just horrific,” she said.

Chief of Army Major General John Boswell was at the finish line at the Auckland War Memorial Museum on Saturday and said he was incredibly proud of the couple for their determination, and of the Army and the New Zealand Defence Force for its support of them.

“At a time when there’s such tragedy and horror in New Zealand they are everything that is good about who we are as people, as an organisation and as a nation,” he said.

“The challenge they set themselves and the way they stepped up to that challenge and have achieved 700 kilometres in 11 days – it’s a magnificent outcome for them.”

Captain Laura North said the couple had initially planned to do the walk on their own but realised they could not have done it without the support of their Army colleagues.

“A huge thank you first and foremost to the Defence Force and the New Zealand Army, because without them we wouldn’t have been able to do this,” she said.

“And thank you to everyone who has donated, whether it’s been money in the buckets, through the Givealittle page – #walkforwonderboy – time helping us with the barbecues or through sponsorship. It’s been incredible and we thank you all so much.

“We’ve made it.”


Pilots and Helicopter Loadmasters Graduate at Ohakea

Source: New Zealand Defence Force

25 March 2019

Seven new pilots and three new helicopter loadmasters have graduated at Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) Base Ohakea.

The graduates received their brevets from Chief of Air Force Air Vice-Marshal Andrew Clark in front of proud family, friends and fellow RNZAF personnel.

Air Vice-Marshal Clark congratulated the graduates on their commitment and skills.

“You can wear your brevets with a sense of accomplishment and as a reminder of the high standard you have achieved,” he said.

“From here on your careers will continue to be demanding, rewarding and at times exhilarating.”

Managing risk was a core part of the military aviation profession, he said.

“Sometimes the challenges you encounter will be uncomfortable, inconvenient and will require sacrifice. That’s why we draw on our military values of courage, commitment and comradeship.”

The Royal New Zealand Air Force Sword of Honour was awarded to Flying Officer Jason Anderson as the graduate who achieved a distinguished pass in all phases of the course. He was also awarded the De Lange Trophy, awarded to the pilot who gained the highest final flying mark on graduation from pilot training.

Pilot Officer James Robertson-Bickers received the Wigram Trophy, awarded to the pilot who graduated with the highest final academic mark.

The new pilots, six of whom are in the RNZAF and one in the Royal New Zealand Navy, will be posted either to the RNZAF helicopter fleet, where they will train on the 109 light utility helicopter at No. 3 Squadron, or to No. 42 Squadron to train on the  fixed-wing Beechcraft King Air 350.

The helicopter pilots will then go on to fly the NH90 medium utility helicopter or SH-2G(I) Seasprite helicopters at No. 3 or No. 6 Squadron respectively, while the fixed-wing pilots will go on fly either the C-130H(NZ) Hercules or Boeing 757-2K2 at No. 40 Squadron, or the P-3K2 Orion at No. 5 Squadron at Base Auckland.

The helicopter loadmasters will work as air crew for either the A109 or NH90 aircraft at No 3 Squadron at Base Ohakea.

Graduates’ Biographies – Pilots Course:

Flying Officer Jason Anderson
Flying Officer Anderson grew up in Whanganui. He attended Massey University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Aviation majoring in air transport pilot. During his studies he completed a flight instructor’s course, then worked as a flight instructor for Massey University.

Seeking a more exciting day-to-day job, Flying Officer Anderson joined the Royal New Zealand Air Force in July 2016 and started his wings course in August 2017.

Pilot Officer Hayley Vincent
Pilot Officer Vincent grew up in Christchurch and attended Lincoln High School. After High School she attended Canterbury University for one year, studying biochemistry and physics, and completed Outward Bound.

She joined the Royal New Zealand Air Force in January 2017 to begin training and started her wings course in August 2017.

Pilot Officer Brandon Marr
Pilot Officer Marr spent most of his childhood in Auckland, where he went to Auckland Grammar School for his later years of high school. He finished school and had a gap year, where he completed Outward Bound and went travelling.

He Joined the RNZAF in July 2016 and began his wings course in August 2017.

Flying Officer Cody Hughes
Flying Officer Hughes grew up in Southland and attended James Hargest High school. Following this he joined the Royal New Zealand Air Force as an Avionics Technician, where he worked on No. 40 and No. 6 Squadrons at RNZAF Base Auckland, reaching the rank of corporal.

He applied to become a pilot in 2015, beginning his wings course in August 2017. 

Sub Lieutenant Kent Wheeler
Sub Lieutenant Wheeler grew up on a farm in south Auckland. He began a Bachelor of Commerce degree at the University of Auckland while applying to join the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN).

He joined the RNZN in January 2016 and began his pilot training in August 2017.

Flying Officer J. Robertson-Bickers
Flying Officer Robertson-Bickers grew up in Auckland and attended Pakuranga College, before studying at University of Auckland. He graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering with Honours. He worked as a process development engineer before joining the Royal New Zealand Air Force in 2016, and began pilot training in August 2017.

Flying Officer Benjamin Johnson
Flying Officer Johnson grew up in Wellington and joined the Royal New Zealand Air Force in 2011 as a medic. After graduating from the Defence Health School with a Graduate Diploma in Health Science he was posted to Base Medical Flight in RNZAF Base Auckland, where he served for three years. During this time he deployed on numerous operations and exercises domestically and internationally. Following his interest in aircraft he specialised in Aviation Medicine and Aeromedical Evacuation.

He commissioned in 2017 to retrain as a pilot and soon after was posted to No. 14 Squadron to start pilot training.

Helicopter Basic Course:

Acting Corporal Drew Manning
Acting Corporal Manning grew up in Feilding and attended Feilding High School. He joined the Royal New Zealand Air Force in May 2017 as a Helicopter Loadmaster under training. Upon completion of his recruit course he completed various combined aircrew courses, as well as Aviation Medicine and Survival Training. Then he completed Air Movements Phase 1, working in air movements operations at RNZAF Base Auckland and the Rongotai Air Movements Terminal in Wellington. He began his Helicopter Basic Course in August 2018.

Acting Corporal Alex Shepherd
Acting Corporal Shepherd grew up on the Hibiscus Coast and attended Orewa College. He joined the Royal New Zealand Air Force in May 2017 as a Helicopter Loadmaster under training. He went on to complete his recruit course and various combined aircrew courses, as well as Aviation Medicine and Survival Training. He completed Air Movements Phase 1 training and worked in air movements operations at RNZAF Base Auckland and then the Rongotai Air Movements Terminal in Wellington. He began his Helicopter Basic Course in August 2018.

Acting Corporal Adam Brown
Acting Corporal Brown grew up in Dannevirke and attended Totara College. He joined the Royal New Zealand Air Force in September 2017 as a Helicopter Loadmaster under training. After completing his recruit course he was posted to No. 42 Squadron at RNZAF Base Ohakea, then completed various combined aircrew courses, as well as Aviation Medicine and Survival Training. He began his Helicopter Basic Course in August 2018.


Terrorism a first for NZ but decades now for Afghanistan


Christchurch – While last Friday’s terrorist attack in Christchurch was the first for New Zealand, Afghanistan’s ambassador to Australia and non-resident to New Zealand says his country has been victims of violence and terrorism for more than four decades.

Ambassador Wahidullah Waissi is in Christchurch to pay tribute to the victims in Christchurch, meet NZ authorities and members of the Afghan community in the city.

And today are burial funerals for two Afghan-born New Zealanders – murdered in the terrorist attack on the Al Noor mosque on Deans Ave.

“We condemn these brutal terrorist attacks on peace-loving New Zealanders in Christchurch and we believe there is no place for violence and extremism in Aotearoa New Zealand and in any other parts of the world,” Waissi says.

“But Afghanistan has constantly been a target of terrorism. For the last few years, we have been losing around 10 to 15 people every day to international terrorism.

“When we first heard of the attack in Australia, no one knew why but wondered how it could happen in such a peaceful environment as New Zealand. We never initially realised it was a terrorist act.

“Then when it was announced as an act of terrorism, it was just another assault on people, now in this part of the world. It is understood that international terrorists and extremists do not know borders, race, religion or country. Those who commit such brutal acts, do not believe in any religious values and principles.

“Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has offered his condolences to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who has shown her great leadership at this difficult moment and we have passed that on. We regard New Zealand as one of our closest allies.”

“It is a call to embrace inter-faith peace, solidarity, and unity against extremism on all sides.”

Four Afghans have been treated in Christchurch hospital for gunshot wounds.

Ambassador Waissi also endorsed the brave actions of Abdul Aziz who fought the terrorist at the Linwood mosque preventing many more deaths.

A public vigil will be held around the Masjid Al Noor mosque for the first prayers there since the attack tomorrow afternoon.

For further information contact Make Lemonade editor-in-chief Kip Brook on 0275 030188.


NZ among the worst countries for physical inactivity


Christchurch – New Zealand is rated 10th best in the world for gym membership but we have some of the worst physical inactivity levels globally, ExerciseNZ chief executive Richard Beddie says.

He has just returned from a World Health Organisation conference in Geneva where he led a session on global standards for exercise professionals.

“For a country like ours, we should be much more active. About 14 percent of the population have gym memberships which puts us right up there, but we also have some of the worst inactivity levels with 40 percent of New Zealanders inactive which just doesn’t meet the WHO levels for active societies. This makes us 13th worst globally for inactvity,” Beddie says.

“New Zealand is fast becoming a country of haves and have nots when it comes to physical activity.

“WHO believes anything more than 28 percent of the population not exercising is unacceptable – and in New Zealand it is even worse or a high level of inactivity for children.

“Globally the average rate of inactivity (defined as less than 150 minutes of physical activity a week) is 28 percent. New Zealand’s 40 percent inactivity rate is therefore very concerning, especially considering that the rate for childrens’ inactivity is even higher (as high as 90 percent in some age groups).

“My presentation was about how the exercise industry has developed global standards for exercise professionals, now adopted by 12 countries including the US, India, China, Canada, NZ, Australia, the UK.

“NZ was at the forefront of standards development for exercise professionals, being the third country in the world to develop a national registration system underpinned by qualifications mapped to government standards.

“The WHO meeting was very productive with lots of actionable steps, including the likely introduction of inclusive fitness which is a campaign driven by UNESCO. WHO are looking at including that initiative into their global physical activity plan.

“ExerciseNZ has already agreed to launch it in New Zealand. It’s all about making exercise accessible to everyone, regardless of ability or disability.”

Those with disabilities have barriers to taking part in some activities but this initiative is training staff, developing specific programmes where needed and supporting those with disabilities to take part in existing programmes and services offered by exercise providers.

Beddie says in the context of the UNESCO initiative, New Zealand had more than one million people who would fall into the disability category such sight loss, physical and mental disability and chronic health conditions.

He also attended the IHRSA conference in San Diego and he hosted the Australasian forum discussing how to support non-exercising groups with exercise, instructor standards, and career pathways for people entering the exercise industry.

“The big issue is how to support those that don’t traditionally take part in exercise or haven’t done so in many years.

“Finally but most importantly, our heartfelt thoughts go out to the families, friends and whanau of those affected by last week’s tragedy in Christchurch.

“As part of the Christchurch community, we stand united to say terrorism has no place in our country. Our fitness community in particular prides itself on being inclusive and where there is no room for racial or religious discrimination, and all are welcome.”

For further information contact Richard Beddie on 027 5205744 or Make Lemonade editor-in-chief Kip Brook on 0275 030188.

Photo: Richard Beddie with WHO delegates in Geneva


The end of our innocence


Opinion editorial

By Paul Kench, the Canterbury Police crime services manager (officer in charge, CIB) at time of February 22, 2011 earthquakes

Christchurch – In retirement, I’m reluctant to join the social media world as a commenter, informed or otherwise, however for my own peace of mind I’ve decided to record some of my thoughts, relating to the sickening and fatal events at the Christchurch Muslim mosques last Friday, March 15.

I was privileged in my final years of police service to have significant exposure nationally and internationally to the inner-most workings of the complex worlds of intelligence gathering and investigations in the counter terrorism (CT) space.

I’m not a fan of the labelling definition types of offending as the reality is much of it is straight out criminal behaviour.

Script writers prepare decision-makers with a series of complex scenarios for training and exercise purposes and having been subjected to this in the past.

I have always expressed my opinion that one day New Zealand would be a target for terrorism. The magnitude and scale of what occurred in my own city last Friday has staggered me the most.

Like most New Zealanders, I could only watch and observe on television as events unfolded, albeit with an in-depth knowledge of what would be occurring from the ground floor front line response, to the highest levels of what would be happening at ODESC, which is a secret group which forms at times of national crisis.

Immediate coverage illustrated the danger of the speculative experts and a range of commentators articulating a sound bite or headline that was given as a statement of facts, unchallenged.

The danger is that much of that speculation will be untrue and not factual, however in the minds of those listening opinions formed creating rumours that will not be debunked even once the facts fully emerge.

Media interviews with so called experts and other commentators who feel obliged to comment on areas beyond their stations and subject knowledge are extremely unhelpful and dangerous.

We live in a world where we are constantly bombarded by knee jerk reactions as commentators offer solutions to any manner of issue when the actual problem isn’t defined with any accuracy or proper analysis.

One illustration is uninformed commentary about any potential watchlist. We don’t live in utopia. A watchlist isn’t the panacea that guarantees evil things will be stopped or won’t occur.

Even if someone ticks off some boxes and is on a watchlist, we don’t live in a society whereby law enforcement can automatically remove that someone.

Defence lawyers make their livelihoods on challenging law enforcement policy, procedure, guilt or innocence of their clients, always arguing their client would not conduct themselves in any manner the authorities may be arguing.

There is a reluctance to blame individuals for their own actions. Blame must lay with someone else or some other factor not the individual themselves.

A lone wolf is someone who operates on their own accord, whatever may be occurring in their own mind, sound or otherwise. If the lone wolf doesn’t share their thoughts and actions with someone else the likelihood of any future planning or activity is most unlikely to reach the ears of anyone else and be uncovered.

The key components of any terrorism assessment are the intent and capability of the offender (s). Without one the other won’t happen.

It’s much easy to join the dots after the event and if authorities aren’t aware of something as illustrated above, they cannot magically join those dots unless the subject is a target. In the complex variables of the human mind there is no accounting for pure evil.

The major takeaway for me is that in response to Friday’s events, New Zealanders should be very proud of the New Zealand Police. I know that I am.

The fact that despite the carnage and whatever comes from the background of this evil perpetrator and despicable human being, who has tarnished the name of my great city, was in custody and alive within 36 minutes from when his attack commenced.

Commissioner Mike Bush has shown incredible leadership and public reassurance in that he leads an organisation of many good people, who know what they are about and who will get to the core of what occurred and the why, without speculating but by relying on facts.

Footnote: Paul Kench is a retired NZ Police Detective Superintendent. He had qualified in Australia as a Counter Terrorism Senior Investigating Officer.