Maggie Barry MP not standing in 2020

Maggie Barry National MP for Devonport and the OPPOSITION SPOKESPERSON ON VETERANS AFFAIRS has announced her retirement from politics and will not be standing at the next election.  Not sure how effective she has been on looking out for veterans or keeping the Minister of Veterans Affairs feet to the fire.  Obviously not a highlight of her political career.

The former Morning Report and Maggie’s Garden Show presenter has held the North Shore seat for three terms.

Ms Barry said it was an honour to have served the region and to be part of the National Party but it wasn’t easy to make the decision to leave.

“After an extraordinary 10 years in politics, the time is now right for my husband Grant Kerr and I to spend more time overseas with our London-based family and share some adventures – we have a bucket list as long as your arm,” Ms Barry said in a statement.

She reaffirmed her confidence in Simon Bridge’s leadership of the National Party, and his bid to become prime minister in the upcoming elections.

“I will be campaigning hard alongside my colleagues to ensure that happens. National is the best team in politics and it has been my privilege to be part of that team since 2011.”

Mr Bridges in a statement said Ms Barry had been a valuable colleague and was a passionate Minister for Conservation.

In 2014, Ms Barry became a Cabinet minister with the conservation, seniors, and arts, culture and heritage portfolios under then-prime minister John Key.

In her statement, she remarked on her efforts to raise awareness of elderly abuse as well as helping save threatened plant and bird species through conservation initiatives.

“I came into Parliament with the ambition of being a voice for the most vulnerable,” Ms Barry said.

“I was able to raise awareness with the wider public about conservation solutions because at heart I believe that saving the world starts in your own backyard.”

She said one of her highlights was being responsible for the World War I commemorations.

“It truly was an honour unveiling the New Zealand plaques at many of the French and Belgium Western Front battlefields and reading the ode at the Menin Gate.”



Posted in General Updates | 4 Comments

What Ship, When and Who?

Here is an image of a Communicators Crew.  Let’s scratch our head and put names to ship, year and of course to those lovely faces.  Thanks Benton for the image.

HMNZS Canterbury 1984 Rimpac and North America/Canada Trip

Standing L-R ASG Poutu Taua, OSG Jeffrey Halliwell, ORO Rei Turner, ARO Donald Ripia, ARO Anthony Hepetema (RIP), ASG Shiner Wright, ORO Benton Ostler, ARO Karl Harrison, ARO Tawehi Munro and ASG Mark Vause.

Sitting L-R OSG Trevor Smith, LSG Dave Carroll, LSG Alan Whitley, CPOYS Nick Nicholson, SLT John Campbell, PORS Chris Bond, LRO David Jones, LRO Nawaina Maika (RIP), LSG Neil Cameron

Posted in General Updates | 6 Comments

Welcome to New Members

A huge welcome to new members of the Communications Association.

Radio – Benton Ostler – Full Member

Signals – Walter Strong – Full Member and Foundation Member

Owen Clotworthy – Associate Member

Radio – Colin Forrest – Full Member

Signals – Peter Foster – Full Member and Foundation Member

Signals – Frank Wood – Full Member and Foundation Member




Posted in General Updates | Leave a comment

Jack Passings – October 2019

The following Sailors ‘Crossed the Bar’ during the month of October 2019. Details of funerals etc can be found by clicking HERE.

HENDERSON James Scott (Jim) Leading Seaman
ANDERSON, Jason Bryan Able Seaman
EVANS, David Owen Petty Officer
HALL, Jeremy Peter Dryden LTCDR
MILLS, Robert James (Joe). LT  CDR RNZNVR
BENNETT, Wayne (Wiggy) CPOYS
MITA, Robert Lee
ROFF, Paul Philip.
HAY, Colin Francis Reverend
VENNELL, John Adrian (Adrian) Cdr
MATTHEWS, John Kenneth (Jack) AB
SAGE, Anthony David (Tony) Sub Lt.

Posted in General Updates | 5 Comments

Navy Gender-Neutral Guidelines

New gender-neutral guidelines will allow male Navy personnel to wear make-up, false eyelashes

New changes will reflect greater diversity and inclusion in the RNZN. New changes will reflect greater diversity and inclusion in the RNZN.

The New Zealand Defence Force will be updating its grooming and appearance guidelines to reflect a more gender-neutral attitude for the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN), meaning male personnel can wear makeup, nail varnish and false eyelashes.

Newshub received information from a Navy insider last week that the RNZN will implement a more inclusive set of appearance and grooming regulations.

Chief of Navy Rear Admiral David Proctor confirmed the changes in a statement to Newshub on Friday.

“The NZDF can confirm that as of November 1, 2019, guidelines around grooming and appearance for Royal New Zealand Navy personnel will be updated,” said Proctor. “These updates are to reflect that the RNZN make no distinction between male and female members in terms of their personal grooming and appearance.

“These changes reflect that diversity and inclusion are critical to our success as an organisation, as are the unique traditions and characteristics of the RNZN.”

Proctor said the RNZN’s grooming standards are based on neatness, cleanliness, safety and military image.

The updated regulations mean as of November 1, all Navy personnel are permitted to wear discreet make-up, clear or pale nail varnish when in uniform, “trimmed, neat and natural” false eyelashes, one pair of “natural coloured” stud or sleeper earrings and perfume or cologne in moderation. Rings may be worn on a maximum of two fingers.

Navy personnel are also allowed to use natural-coloured hair dye or have their hair “lightly tipped”, as long as it’s clean and neatly groomed. Long hair is also permitted in a bun or single plait to ensure safety and tidiness.

The appearance guidelines still prohibit body piercings, “exaggerated hairstyles” (partially shaved heads, mohawks, undercuts and “zigzagging of hair” included) and hair accessories.

“These standards are designed to present an inclusive, professional military image,” said Proctor.

“The RNZN is a modern and professional organisation that embraces individuality and personality.

“However, we are a military organisation and with that comes certain expectations on our personnel in terms of dress and appearance.”


Posted in General Updates | 20 Comments

A Veteran Affairs Advertisement

Click on image to enlarge.

Posted in General Updates | Leave a comment

Gaining Momentum – Update

Matt King, MP for Northland is asking some very pertinent questions of the Minister of Veteran Affairs.  We look forward to the Minister’s response.

04 Oct 2019 – 34406 (2019). Matt King to the Minister for VeteransWhat is the average time taken to process applications for review of entitlements, if any, by review officers at Veterans’ Affairs New Zealand, as at 4 October 2019?

Hon Ron Mark (Veterans (Minister – Ron Mark)) replied: The average time length of time to process an application is 65 working days. This includes the time taken to seek additional information if this is required.

04 Oct 2019 – 34407 (2019). Matt King to the Minister for VeteransHow many FTE review officers, if any, are employed by Veterans’ Affairs New Zealand?

Hon Ron Mark (Veterans (Minister – Ron Mark)) replied: As at 4 October 2019 the resourcing for reviews of decisions is 0.8 FTE.

04 Oct 2019 – 34411 (2019). Matt King to the Minister for Veterans How old is the oldest outstanding application for a review of entitlements, if any, by Veterans’ Affairs New Zealand, as at 4 October 2019?

Hon Ron Mark (Veterans (Minister – Ron Mark)) replied: Veterans’ Affairs had 47 reviews of decisions outstanding as at 4 October 2019.

04 Oct 2019 – 34410 (2019). Matt King to the Minister for VeteransHow many applications for review of entitlements, if any, are being assessed by review officers at Veterans’ Affairs New Zealand, as at 4 October 2019?

Hon Ron Mark (Veterans (Minister – Ron Mark)) replied: The oldest complete application for review was received ten months ago.

Posted in General Updates | 5 Comments