RNZE CT Reports

This page provides copies of a range of reports from the RNZE Charitable Trust (RNZE CT), including annual, financial, audit and other related reports of Trust activity and compliance requirements.  These are all public documents.

RNZE Charitable Trust (RNZE CT or “Trust”) “Annual Report” for 2018

RNZE Charitable Trust (RNZE CT or “Trust”) Annual Report for 2018

 

This is our seventh annual report, which is provided to recognise our sponsors and supporters as well as an awareness of the activities of the Trust.  Whilst it is not a compliance or statutory requirement, it helps to inform our parent bodies (namely the RNZE Corps Committee and Sappers Association (NZ) Inc) and wider Corps membership of the progress the Trust has made on key projects during the 2018 calendar year.  Once again, we have had a very productive and positive year, focusing on our key objects and tasks.  We have confirmed our Trust “strapline” of “Preserving RNZE Heritage”, which clearly reflects the principle objects of the Trust and what we have achieved since 2011.

 

Our top priority project has again been the RNZE Corps History project, which has progressed well throughout the year.  In concert with author Peter Cooke and Exisle Publishing, the final draft was completed, and the files went to press on 18 Dec 18.  Our 512 contracted page limit has expanded out to some 797 pages, due to the scope and volume of the manuscript, but the publisher and printer have both agreed to absorb the additional cost, as they did not want to restrict the quality of the finished product.  So far, orders for some 224 copies have been placed/paid for, out of the Corp’s commitment of 350 books.  We anticipate receiving our Corp’s commitment quantity of books in Mar 19 and then the distribution to those who have already ordered and purchased books under a special pre-publication price deal, will proceed during that month.  The Mayor of Palmerston North wants to hold a PNCC launch on 11 Apr 19 as part of the activation programme for the 2019 NZ Tattoo, which will be accompanied by a RNZE capability display by 2nd Engr Regt (2ER).  The Ministers of Defence and Building & Construction will co-host a Parliamentary launch in Wellington on 8 May 2019, where it is hoped we can conduct a ceremonial parade on the “forecourt” to recognise this important milestone in the history of the Corps.  During the year, we received generous grants from both the Lottery Grants Board (DIA), Downer NZ and Sappers Association (NZ) Inc, to assist the concluding phase of the project.  To date, we have raised over $230,000 in total for the project and expended $218,232 of this fund, to complete the task and ensure both a quality end-product and maintenance of a professional project standard.

 

We have managed to establish our own (secure – HTTPS) website (www.nzsappers.org.,nz). which went live in October 2018.  We are grateful to the Mainland Foundation for funding the development of the site, as well as Inspire Net of Palmerston North, who is sponsoring the hosting and capacity of the website.  This has enabled us to upload a range of heritage material, both older print material (military engineering and history books and manuals) and photographic items in a separate gallery.  Whilst making this resource available to the wider public has been a condition of our external funding arrangements, it now provides access to our Engineer Corps Memorial Centre (ECMC) library and reference holdings, as well as protects the future of this sought-after material. Information about the Trust and ECMC is available on the site, along with events associated with the Trust.  In 2019, 2ER is expected to add their information to the site menu.

 

Progress on rebuilding and refurbishing the museum displays continues at a slower pace, as we have had to focus on other tasks throughout the year.  We have really appreciated the voluntary contributions made by Mike Early and Noel Woodley of Palmerston North, who have joined Curator Clas Chamberlain and the writer for our regular Thursday public openings and work days.   Further good progress has been made in the scanning, digitising and post-processing of our photographic collection, where over 4,500 of our collection of 20,000+ photos, slides, negatives, plates, etc have been scanned and stored digitally.  We have nearly completed Stage 1 of a project to scan and digitise many (over 68 publications to date) of our older (early 1800’s to early 1900’s) heritage material and books, using an external contractor and funded by ECCT.  Once post-processed, this material is being uploaded onto our new website, where it is available for public access and use for research purposes.  We have additional funding provided by ECCT, to move onto Stage 2 of this project during 2019 and extend our range of processed heritage material for the website.  With assistance from 2ER and 2 Fd Sqn, we have commenced the project of sorting, cataloguing and refurbishing the collection of model Bailey bridge holdings, which has now been passed to the ECMC as heritage equipment items. SME has gathered a quantity of these model parts for their training purposes and once we establish the exact set contents, future requirements and look at holdings surplus to our requirements, we will determine a disposal process with colleagues in Australia and the UK.  SME and 25ESS are continuing with the project of mounting additional Bailey panels on the concrete plinths constructed adjacent to the entrance to the ECMC, along with two “decorative lazy ‘E’s or engineer symbols at the entranceway.  Heritage RNZE equipment will be mounted on some of these structures as part of an external display.  We continue to experience electrical and security system faults in the building, which have all been rectified by SME, Spotless and contracting staff, however, they reflect the age and condition of much of the building and its infrastructure and systems.  This will need to be addressed in the future, in terms of security and ongoing sustainability of the facility, as well as the protection of the contents of the Centre buildings.

 

We have had over 6,110 visitors through the ECMC since commencing record taking in late-2013, with 1,267 in 2018 (1,178 in 2017 1,008 in 2016, 968 in 2015 and 915 in 2014).  These have included a wide range of local and international, serving and retired members of the NZDF and RNZE, community organisations, members of the public and so on.  All Basic Combat Engineer, RNZE Section Commander and Senior Combat Engineer course participants and personnel from other courses run by the SME have also made visits to the ECMC complex as part of their programmes and Corps heritage familiarisation.  Several 1 (NZ) Brigade-hosted visits from Probus and Rebus clubs from the lower North Island have also visited the ECMC as part of this regular programme.  We remain members of Museums Aotearoa and are shown in their annual directory and website, as a museum worthy of a visit.  The ECMC is becoming better known within the Manawatu and wider community and that in turn enables us to publicise the Corps and meet our key object of “Preserving RNZE Heritage”.

 

We want to introduce more interactive and electronic displays into the museum and await advice from our technical advisers at Advantage Computers on both hardware and software requirements and availability.  We still need an updated electronic library system, so that we can keep track of the extensive collection of reference material housed in both the library and “technical information section (“TIC RNZE”) for RNZE activities and deployments. This all still forms a part of our information, communications, research and technology (or ICR&T) initiatives for the ECMC and will be pursued in the new year.

 

We are continuing with the challenging task of cataloguing all the “assets of the Trust”, now with over 14,450 items of the ECMC/RNZE CT “collection” (7,790+ screens) inventoried (out of an estimated 60,000 items, including some 4,500+ photographic items and with an estimated recorded total value of $406,000.  Our comprehensive insurance cover is reviewed annually and was increased in value to $310,000 (plus Trustee liability indemnity insurance), back in 2015.  Crombie Lockwood our insurance brokers, are currently investigating options to try and reduce the ever-increasing annual policy premium increases.  We continue to hold much of our stored items in an external expandable (old field medical operating theatre) container (with heat pump-controlled environment) adjacent to the main building and garage.  This has enabled us to further review items of equipment, clothing, photographic and document records, to inventory, sort and store them again in more suitable facilities.

 

Once again, our financial situation remains in a stable position, as most of the major projects and procurements in 2018 were covered by external funding sponsors.  We continue to limit operational expenditure within the ECMC, to a set annual limit and manage to work within our budget and needs.  We sincerely acknowledge and appreciate the support from all our sponsors and regular contributors, as well as our other donors.  Our regular contributors have increased back up to 27 over the year, donating approx $341 per month/$4,092 per annum (we used to have over 130 regular contributors a couple of decades ago).  The total donations for the year amounted to $7,169.46 from all sources.  The latter included contributions from the Auckland Sapper Officers’ Mess, ECMC donations (visitors and history presentations) box and other miscellaneous donors.  Our six-monthly GST rebates also assist in keeping the funds for ECMC operational purposes in balance.  Several grants were received this year for external funding supplementation to a total value of $61,047 (excl GST).  These were for the RNZE Corps history project publication phase ($24,000 from LGB, $20,000 from Downer NZ and $10,000 from Sappers Association (NZ) Inc, total $54,000), plus $4,000 from ECCT for Stage 2 of the scanning, digitising and post-processing of heritage material and $3,047 from the Mainland Foundation for specialised consumables for the ECMC museum.  Other generous sponsors and supporters in kind for 2018 included Advantage Computers Ltd (PN), Inspire Net (PN) and Trophy Specialists (PN) and we sincerely thank them all, as well as our other regular donors to the Trust.

 

At our 15 Nov 18 Trust Board meeting, we implemented a Corps bursary scheme (for a 12-month trial), aimed at providing limited funds to support serving Corps’ members for hardship assistance, extra professional development (not covered by NZDF), adventure training/representation, pursuance of individual or team sports activities and representation and the like.  Review of the scheme uptake and process will be undertaken towards the end of 2019, to determine success, continuance or otherwise.  The initiation of the scheme was unanimously approved by trustees.

 

We continue to co-host the successful monthly midday military history presentation (MMMHP) series with the Palmerston North City Library and running these in the Palmerston North CBD from February to November each year. Venues include the City Library and Te Manawa and sessions are always well attended, with between 20 and 75 participants each month.  Presentation topics included a wide range of excellent and informative presentations delivered by: Col Peter Wood (HQ NZDF – “Sinai Campaign & Battle of Beersheba in WW1”), Dr Adam Claasen (Massey University – “The Air War in WW1” and the book “Fearless”), Richard Hemi (Otago University – “Laser Survey of the Arras Tunnels project and NZE tunnellers in WW1”), Prof Gary Sheffield (Wolverhampton University – “Operation Sea Lion”- 1940 Nazi Invasion of England”), Lt Gen (Rtd) Rhys Jones (ex-CDF – “NZ Division vs Germans in the 1918 Spring Offensive”), Hon Wg Cdr Brendon Deere (RNZAF Heritage Flight – “Battle of Britain and NZ Involvement”), RADM (Rtd) David Ledson (ex CN – “NZ’ers in Midget Submarines in SE Asia Operations in WW2”), Emeritus Professor Margaret Tennant (“History of the Red Cross in WW1 and WW2”), Lesley Courtney (PN City Library – “NZ Conscientious Objectors in WW1 and WW2”), Lt Col Richard Taylor (NZDF Command & Staff College – “NZ Land Wars” in local area) and Professor Glyn Harper (Massey University – “The Battle for Le Quesnoy and the end of WW1”). A similar programme of many different speakers and topics has been arranged for 2019.

 

The Trust Board held quarterly meetings throughout the year, performing the requirements of our objects in accordance with the Trust Deed.  All relevant compliance has been met and reports have been prepared, approved and submitted to Charities Services and are all available on their and the RNZE CT websites.  We have appreciated the excellent service provided by Treasurer and trustee, Greg Findon, as well as the Secretary, Lt Stu Telford, latterly of the SME. My sincere thanks go to all trustees including Lt Col Terry McDonald (CO, 2ER), WO1 Greg Hinch (RSM, 2ER), Clas Chamberlain, Greg Findon, Cliff Parker and Lt Col Paul Hayward (based in Canberra), for their assistance and support throughout the year.  As the Trust has now been operating for more than seven years, it is time to review our role, goals and purpose, particularly looking at the sustainability and operation of the ECMC, as well as succession planning.  CO, 2ER and Regt Col, RNZE, Lt Col Terry McDonald is currently consulting colleagues and preparing such an options paper for review at the next Trust Board meeting in Feb 19.

 

Over 110 personnel from all RNZE units in Linton Camp have provided valuable assistance to the ECMC for a few hours each Thursday, as part of the RNZE monthly duty unit assistance scheme.  This was initiated by a previous RSM, 2ER in mid-2014 and managed by the SSMs of each of the units of 2ER and the SME, based on a monthly roster and task list.  This has enabled a wide range of tasks to be undertaken to assist us in the ongoing maintenance of the ECMC library, museum and Chapel, plus other RNZE CT administrative requirements. It also keeps these young sappers connected with their heritage and spiritual home, in the hope that they will take an interest in its management and preservation in the future and as their careers progress within the Corps and the Army as a whole.

 

Once again, several minor projects were carried out by the SME, including electrical tasks and preparation for other trade-training-based tasks to be undertaken in 2019.  This assistance is vital for the ongoing operation of the ECMC and we are very grateful to the CI, SSM and WO TTW, SME for their support.  Likewise, we have had excellent support and assistance from 2ER, in particular from the CO, XO, Adjt, and RSM, as well as unit commanders, SSMs and a number of other RHQ staff.  Our sincere thanks go to you all for this much needed and appreciated contribution and support.  We have also appreciated support from OC LRSC (Maj Mike Pettersen) and his staff, DEI Group and Spotless in the operation and maintenance of the ECMC building.  Given that there is only a few of us trying to keep the ECMC open and running on a weekly basis, as well as managing the RNZE CT and various other key projects, we do need your ongoing assistance.  Our wish is that more retired members of the Corps currently living in the Manawatu, take more of an active interest in the ECMC and join our ranks as volunteers in the future.

 

Finally, and to foreshadow our planned activities, objectives and focal points for 2019, here are our aspirations for the coming year.  It will come as no surprise that these objectives, in no particular order, are much the same as for previous years as we continue to operate in accordance with the objects of our Trust Deed, and includes:

 

  1. Continue to progress the RNZE Corps History project through to its completion, with the release and launch of the history book by mid-2019;
  2. Keep the ECMC open to the public every Thursday and operating satisfactorily;
  3. Continue to rebuild, refurbish and refresh the ECMC museum displays;
  4. Explore other means and modes to display RNZE activities, functions and heritage about the ECMC;
  5. Continue to maintain and expand the new RNZE CT website;
  6. Introduce an electronic system to support asset inventory and library collection work;
  7. Continue to scan, digitise, post-process, store and upload (to website) heritage material for future public access and safekeeping;
  8. Explore and introduce interactive electronic displays within the ECMC museum area;
  9. Continue to seek external funding supplementation, as required; and
  10. Manage the RNZE CT in accordance with the Trust Deed and to meet all related compliance requirements.

 

Joe Hollander

Trustee/Trust Board Chair                                                                  Palmerston North

RNZE Charitable Trust                                                                       31 December 2018

 

 

RNZE Charitable Trust (RNZE CT or “Trust”) “Annual Report” for 2017

This is our sixth annual report, which is provided to recognise our sponsors and supporters as well as an awareness of the activities of the Trust.  Whilst it is not a compliance or statutory requirement, it helps to inform our parent bodies (namely the RNZE Corps Committee and Sappers Association (NZ) Inc) and wider Corps membership of the progress the Trust has made on key projects during the 2017 calendar year.  Once again, we have had a busy and positive year, building on the progress made in previous years and since our formation in mid-2011.  The adopted “strap/tagline” of “Preserving RNZE Heritage”, clearly reflects the principle objects of the Trust and what is has achieved since its original establishment.

Our top priority project has been the RNZE Corps History project, which has progressed well throughout the year with the completion of the research and writing phase and preparation of a final manuscript.  This has been reviewed by members of the Corps History Project Advisory Group, along with Prof Glyn Harper and Dr Ian McGibbon, and feedback passed directly to the author   Our project author and historian, Peter Cooke, has made further research visits to the ECMC, RNZE units and Exercise “UBIQUE” during the year.  He has submitted regular quarterly project reports, which have been circulated widely.  Following a RFP process, we have appointed Exisle Publishing (Dunedin) as our preferred contractor and an agreement has been signed.  This will see the publishing of the book during 2018, with the end-product being available for a launch and release in early 2019.  So far, we have expended $182,106 of the $184,117 funds raised for this project, including a significant Lottery Grants Board contribution back in late 2014.  As NZDF/Army was unable to provide funding support for this project, further Trust contributions and fund raising will be necessary to cover the shortfall through to completion and book release.

Progress on rebuilding and refurbishing the museum displays continues at a slower pace, as we have had to focus on other tasks, without much additional staffing.  We have really appreciated the voluntary contributions made by Mike Early and Noel Woodley, who have joined Curator Clas and the writer for our regular Thursday public openings.   Progress has been made in the scanning, digitising and post-processing of our photographic collection, where over 4,500 of our collection of 20,000+ photos, slides, negatives, plates, etc have been scanned and stored digitally.  We commenced Stage 1 of a project to scan and digitise some of our older (late 1800’s/early 1900’s) heritage material and books, using an external contractor and funded by ECCT.  This initial stage was intended as an experimental exercise and now that we have established project performance metrics and process, we hope to embark on Stage 2 during 2018.  We also want to raise another project sorting, cataloguing and refurbishing the collection of model Bailey bridging holdings, which have now been passed to the ECMC as heritage equipment items.  It is still our intention to locate and place older RNZE equipment on the concrete plinths at the entrance to the ECMC, plus more Bailey panels around the entrance pathway and periphery, subject to availability of SME staff and students.  We have experienced several electrical and security system faults in the building, which have all been rectified by SME, Spotless and contracting staff, however, they reflect the age and condition of much of the building and its infrastructure and systems.  This will need to be addressed in the future, in terms of security and ongoing sustainability of the facility.

We have had over 4,700 visitors through the ECMC since commencing record taking in late-2013, with 1,178 in 2017 (1,008 in 2016, 968 in 2015 and 915 in 2014).  These have included a wide range of local and international, serving and retired members of the NZDF and RNZE, community organisations, members of the public and so on.  All Basic Combat Engineer course participants and personnel from other courses run by the SME have also made visits to the ECMC complex as part of their programmes and Corps heritage familiarisation.  We remain members of Museums Aotearoa and are shown in their annual directory and website, as a museum worthy of a visit.  The ECMC is becoming better known within the Manawatu and wider community and that in turn enables us to publicise the Corps and meet our object of “Preserving RNZE Heritage”.

Our information, communications, research and technology (ICR&T) development ceased during the year, whilst waiting for the Sappers Association Executive to make a decision on the refurbishment or replacement of the current outdated “Sappers” website.  If necessary, the Trust will have to decide on an alternative approach, so that important information belonging to the ECMC and Trust is made available to serving and retired members of the Corps, as well as for the wider community.  We want to introduce more interactive and electronic displays into the museum and await advice from our technical advisers at Advantage Computers on both hardware and software requirements and availability.  We still need an updated electronic library system, so that we can keep track of the extensive collection of reference material housed in both the library and “technical information section” for RNZE activities and deployments.

We continue with the challenging task of cataloguing all the “assets of the Trust”, now with some 12,084 items of the ECMC/RNZE CT “collection” (6,374 screens) inventoried (out of an estimated 60,000 items, including some 4,500 photographic items and with an estimated recorded value of $363,000.  Our comprehensive insurance cover is reviewed annually and was increased in value to $310,000 (plus Trustee liability indemnity insurance), back in 2015.  We continue to hold much of our stored items in an external expandable (old field medical operating theatre) container (with heat pump controlled environment) adjacent to the main building and garage.  This has enabled us to further review items of equipment, clothing, photographic and document records, to inventory, sort and store them again in more suitable facilities.

Our financial situation remains in a stable position, as most of the major projects and procurements in 2017 were covered by external funding sponsors.  We sincerely acknowledge and appreciate the support from our sponsors and regular contributors, as well as our other donors.  Our regular contributors have increased back up to 23 over the year or approx $311 per month (we used to have over 130 regular contributors a couple of decades ago), the donations total contributed for the year was in the order of $3,705, plus a further $2,103 from “casual and miscellaneous” sources.  The latter included contributions from the Auckland Sapper Officers’ Mess, ECMC donations (visitors and history presentations) box and other miscellaneous donors.  Our six-monthly GST rebates also assist in keeping the funds for ECMC operational purposes in balance.  Three grants were received this year for external funding supplementation to a total value of $17,894 (excl GST).  One was for our insurance premium renewal ($3,894) from the Mainland Foundation, another ($4,000) from ECCT for Stage 1 of the scanning, digitising and post-processing of heritage material and $10,000 from the National Army Museum Trust Literary Fund to support the RNZE Corps History project (publication seeding fund).  Other generous sponsors and supporters in kind for 2017 included Advantage Computers Ltd (PN), Inspire Net (PN) and Trophy Specialists (PN) and we sincerely thank them all, as well as our other regular donors to the Trust.

We continue to co-host the successful monthly midday military history presentation series with the Palmerston North City Library and now running these in the Palmerston North CBD from February to November each year. Venues include the City Library and Te Manawa and sessions are always well attended, with between 20 and 70 participants each month, depending upon the topic and weather on the day.  Presentation topics included a wide range of excellent and informative presentations delivered by: Maj Tim Woodman (HQ 1 Bde – “HMS Veronica and Napier 1931 Earthquake”), Selwyn Ponga-Davis (LRSC – “Searching for Family at Gallipoli”), Col (Rtd) Bryan Wells (“The Waikato Land Wars – Battles at Orakau and Rangiriri”), Sqn Ldr (Rtd) Paul Harrison (“80 years of the RNZAF”), Wg Cdr (Rtd) Peter Hurly (“Medical Support in the Battle of the Somme”), RADM (Rtd) David Ledson (“HMS New Zealand, etc”), Dr (Lt Col Rtd)  Mesut Uyar (ADFA/Turkish Mil Academy – “Myths and Realities of the ANZAC Landings at Gallipoli on 25 Apr 1915”), Leanne Hickman (Historian, Massey University – “Chronology of PN Military History 1860-1975”), Capt John Aitken, RNZE (25ESS – “Operation Winston – HADR in Fiji”), and Prof Glyn Harper (“Battle of El Alamein – 75th Anniversary”).  A similar programme of many different speakers and topics has been arranged for 2018.

The Trust Board held quarterly meetings throughout the year, performing the requirements of our objects in accordance with the Trust Deed.  All relevant compliance has been met and reports have been prepared, approved and submitted to Charities Services and are available on their website.  We have appreciated the excellent service provided by Treasurer and trustee, Greg Findon, as well as the Secretary, Lt Sean Kinsella, latterly of the SME.  An inaugural trustee and strong supporter of the Trust, Lt Col Don Jones, stood down in August and was replaced by Lt Col Todd Hart later in the year.  We are sincerely grateful for the strong support and input provided by Don during the initial establishment and over his six plus years on the Trust Board.  Incoming CO 2ER, Lt Col Terry McDonald and RSM, WO1 Greg Hinch also joined the Trust Board in 2017.  Outgoing trustee, Lt Col Paul Hayward, remains a trustee, albeit connecting from his current post in Australia.  Outgoing RSM 2ER, WO1 Lyall Mooney retired from the Trust.  My sincere thanks go to all our trustees including Clas Chamberlain, Greg Findon, Cliff Parker, along with Paul Hayward, CO 2ER, Lt Col Terry McDonald and RSM 2ER, WO1 Greg Hinch, for their assistance and support throughout the year.  As the Trust has now been operating for more than six years, it is time to review our role, goals and purpose, particularly looking at the sustainability and operation of the ECMC, as well as succession planning.  Trustees will be asked to undertake some strategic planning this year to determine our future direction and survivability.

Over 60 personnel from all RNZE units in Linton Camp have provided valuable assistance to the ECMC for a few hours each Thursday, as part of the RNZE monthly duty unit assistance scheme.  This was instituted by the RSM, 2ER in mid-2014 and managed by the SSMs of each of the units of 2nd Engr Regt and the SME, based on a monthly roster and task list.  This has enabled a wide range of tasks to be undertaken to assist us in the ongoing maintenance of the ECMC library, museum and Chapel, plus other RNZE CT administrative requirements. It also keeps these young sappers connected with their heritage and spiritual home, in the hope that they will take an interest in its preservation in the future and as their careers progress within the Corps and the Army as a whole.

Once again, several minor projects were carried out by the SME, including electrical tasks, hinging and securing display cabinet doors, preparing to repaint display cases and so on.  This assistance is vital for the ongoing operation of the ECMC and we are very grateful to the CI, SSM and WO TTW, SME for their support in 2017.  Likewise, we have had excellent support and assistance from 2ER, in particular from the CO, XO, Adjt, RSM and Wks WO, as well as unit commanders and a number of other RHQ staff.  Our sincere thanks go to you all for this much needed and appreciated contribution and support.  We have also appreciated support from OC LRSC (Maj Mike Pettersen) and his staff, DSS Property (now Defence Estates and Infrastructure) Group (WO2 Tom Donald and Shannon Quirke) and Spotless in the operation and maintenance of the ECMC building.  Given that there is only a few of us trying to keep the ECMC open and running on a weekly basis, as well as managing the RNZE CT and various other key projects, we do need ongoing assistance from you all.  Our wish is that retired members of the Corps currently living in the Manawatu, take more of an active interest in the ECMC and join our ranks as volunteers.

Finally and to foreshadow our planned activities, objectives and focal points for 2018, here are our aspirations for the coming year, in no particular order, including:

  1. Continue to progress the RNZE Corps History project through to its completion and release and launch of the history book in early 2019;
  2. Keep the ECMC open to the public every Thursday and operating satisfactorily;
  3. Continue to rebuild, refurbish and refresh the ECMC museum displays;
  4. Explore other means and modes to display RNZE activities, functions and heritage about the ECMC;
  5. Introduce an electronic system to support inventory and library collection work;
  6. Continue to scan, digitise, post-process and store heritage material for future access and safekeeping;
  7. Explore and introduce interactive electronic displays within the ECMC museum area;
  8. Continue to seek external funding supplementation as required; and
  9. Manage the RNZE CT in accordance with the Trust Deed and to meet all related compliance requirements.

Joe Hollander
Trustee/Trust Board Chair
RNZE Charitable Trust
Palmerston North
31 December 2017
RNZE-CT-Ann-Rept-2017

 

RNZE Charitable Trust (RNZE CT or “Trust”) “Annual Report” for 2016

I am pleased to submit our fifth annual report, which is provided to recognise our sponsors and supporters as well as an awareness of the activities of the Trust. It also informs our parent bodies (namely the RNZE Corps Committee and Sappers Association (NZ) Inc) and wider Corps membership of the progress the Trust has made on key projects during the 2016 calendar year. Once again, we have had a busy and successful year, now that we are well established since our formation in mid-2011. The adopted “strap/tagline” of “Preserving RNZE Heritage”, certainly reflects the principle objects of the Trust and what is has achieved since its formation.
Our priority project is the RNZE Corps History project, which has progressed well throughout the year with the completion of research and writing of eight part-chapter (first) drafts. These have been reviewed by Corps History Project Advisory Group members and feedback passed to the author Our project author and historian, Peter Cooke, has made several research visits to the ECMC, RNZE units and to the RSME, RE units, UK archival sites and Archives UK during the year. He has submitted regular quarterly project reports, which have been circulated widely. The current plan is to finish first draft chapters by March 2017, followed by completion of second draft revisions by August 2017. The plan is to select a suitable publisher about June and take the manuscript to the publisher in September 2017. We can then work to release and launch the publication in early 2018. So far, we have expended $152,387 of the $170,117 funds raised for this project, including the significant Lottery Grants Board contribution. As, NZDF/Army was unable to provide any further funding support for this project, further Trust contributions and fund raising will be necessary to cover remaining costs for this project through to completion and book release.
Progress on rebuilding the museum displays has slowed, as we have had to focus on other tasks, without much additional person power. However, all our 35 display cabinets have had LED strip lighting installed, access doors hinged and then properly secured. This has made a huge improvement to the lighting and access to display cabinets so that we can continue the refurbishment programme. Considerable progress has been made in the scanning, digitising and post-processing manly of our photographic collection, where nearly 3,000 of our collection of 20,000 photos, slides, negatives, plates, etc have been scanned and stored digitally. We are still awaiting further artefacts, memorabilia and photos to fill up the displays covering Afghanistan and Timor L’este deployments, as further items from Iraq have now been provided from the Op Taji team. It is still our intention to establish a WW1 trench emplacement in the grounds adjacent to the main building, as well as a tiled area for outdoor presentations. The plan remains to locate and place older RNZE equipment on the concrete plinths at the entrance to the ECMC, plus more Bailey panels around the entrance pathway and periphery. During the year, HVAC appliances were installed above the library and museum area in order to provide a more conducive and stable environment for the collections.
We have had nearly 3,500 visitors through the ECMC since commencing record taking in mid-2013, with 1,008 in 2016 (968 in 2015 and 915 in 2014). These have included a wide range of local and international, serving and retired members of the NZDF and RNZE, general public, children, schools and clubs, etc. All Basic Combat Engineer course participants and personnel from other courses run by the SME have also made visits to the ECMC complex as part of their programmes. We remain members of Museums Aotearoa and are shown in their annual directory and website, as a museum worthy of a visit. We also appear on “Trip Advisor” and with a page in “Wikipedia”, as well as on the Sappers website and Facebook. The ECMC is becoming better known within the Manawatu and wider community and that in turn enables us to publicise the Corps and meet our object of “Preserving RNZE Heritage”.
2
2016 RNZE CT Ann Rept
Our information, communications, research and technology (ICR&T) development has also slowed, following the installation of four electronic displays covering WW1, WW2 and more contemporary Sapper activities. In addition to having our portable multi-media presentation equipment package, we want to introduce more interactive and electronic displays into the museum. Also, an updated electronic library system, so that we can keep track of the extensive collection of reference material housed in both the library and “technical information section” for RNZE activities and deployments. Funds have also been provided for the further development and upgrade of the “Sappers” website, which serves the Sappers Association, ECMC, RNZE Trust, 2nd Engineer Regiment, SME and the Corps as a whole. This is linked to other social media sites, as well as being enabled for all related organisations to communicate with serving and retired members of the Corps, through this medium. It is also proposed to build a replacement website in 2017, to cover the current 2002 vintage site. All this activity has been funded from external sources and is much appreciated by the Trust (our sponsors are recognised below, for their generous and valuable contributions).
We continue with the challenging task of cataloguing all the “assets of the Trust”, now with some 9,900 items of the ECMC/RNZE CT “collection” (5,034 screens) inventoried (out of an estimated 60,000 items, including some 3,000 photographic items and with an estimated recorded value of $332,856. Our comprehensive insurance cover is reviewed annually and was increased in value to $310,000 (plus Trustee liability indemnity insurance), when the polices are reviewed in April each year. We continue to relocate much of our stored items into an external expandable (old field medical operating theatre) container (with heat pump environment) adjacent to the main building and garage. This has enabled us to further review items of equipment, clothing and photographic and document records, to inventory, sort and store them again in more suitable facilities.
Our financial situation remains in a reasonable state, as most of the major projects and procurements in 2016 were covered by external funding sponsors. We sincerely acknowledge and appreciate the support from our sponsors and regular contributors, as well as other donors. Our regular contributors have increased back up to 22 over the year or approx $271 per month (we used to have over 130 regular contributors a couple of decades ago), although the donations total contributed for the year was in the order of $6,200. The latter also included a generous contribution from the Nepia family (in recognition of the passing of WO1 (Retd) Oma Nepia, and redirected towards the RNZE Corps History Project), Auckland Sapper Officers’ Mess, ECMC donations (visitors and history presentations) box and other miscellaneous donors. Our six-monthly GST rebates also assist in keeping the funds for ECMC operational purposes in balance. Three applications were submitted this year for external funding supplementation to a total value of $12,398 (excl GST). One for our insurance cover was declined, we received $3,500 (excl GST) from Mainland Foundation for the website development and currently awaiting the outcome of an application for an initial stage of scanning, digitising and post-processing of heritage material ($5,000) from ECCT. Our generous sponsors and supporters for 2016 included, Mainland Foundation, Advantage Computers Ltd (PN), Inspire Net (PN) and Trophy Specialists (PN) and all other regular donors and contributors to the Trust.
The monthly military history presentation series organised by Clas Chamberlain, was provided from February to November and included a wide range of excellent and informative presentations delivered by the writer (“Military heritage and history of PN”), Dr Chris Pugsley (“NZ Division on the Somme in 1916”), Prof Glyn Harper (“WW1 Literature”), Lt Col (Rtd) Keith Mitchell (“Hutt Road Bailey Bridging”), Col (Rtd) Terry McBeth (“NZ Poppy Places Trust”), Evan Greensides of PNCL (“PN military street signs”), Maj Tim Woodman (“Falklands Campaign”), Selwyn Ponga-Davis (“Family Connections at Gallipoli”), Maj (Rtd) Bob Norman (“100 years on the Ice – Antarctica”) and Lesley Courtenay from PNCL (“Charlotte Warburton, a WW2 supporter”), to name a few examples. These presentations have been held in the Linton Camp (LRSC) Conference Room and new Elliott VC Centre, only for an hour during the midday period each month and serve as a useful means of keeping these important topics alive and at the forefront of our attention. Attendees come from all around, including the PNCC, City Library and heritage team, PNRSA, Manawatu History Teachers Network, Manawatu Officers Club, plus serving military and civilian staff from Linton Camp and other NZDF elements in Palmerston North. As the “uniform” (military) attendance and support has waned in recent times, it has been decided to run these sessions in the PN City Library from Feb 17 onwards, where the majority of support comes from.
3
2016 RNZE CT Ann Rept
The Trust Board held quarterly meetings throughout the year, performing the requirements of our objects in accordance with the Trust Deed. All relevant compliance has been met and reports have been prepared, approved and submitted to Charities Services and are shown on their website. Trustee attendance has been exemplary throughout the year, along with the administration provided by Treasurer, Greg Findon, as well as the Secretary, Lt Bryce Scholtens, latterly of the SME. My sincere thanks go to our trustees including Clas Chamberlain, Don Jones, Greg Findon, Cliff Parker, along with CO 2ER and Regt Col RNZE, Lt Col Paul Hayward, RSM 2ER, WO1 Lyall Mooney and Lt Bryce Scholtens, your assistance and support throughout the year has been much appreciated.
Over 50 personnel from RNZE units have provided valuable assistance to the ECMC for a few hours each Thursday, as part of the RNZE monthly duty unit assistance scheme. This was instituted by the RSM 2ER in mid-2014 and managed by the SSMs of each of the units of 2nd Engr Regt and the SME, based on a monthly roster and task list. This has enabled a wide range of tasks to be undertaken to assist us in the ongoing maintenance of the ECMC library and museum and other RNZE CT administrative requirements. Local volunteers including Mike Earley, who has been a regular assist throughout the past year, also Noel Woodley, who has joined us recently, have provided much needed assistance in the areas of scanning, digitising and post-processing of heritage material, recording names of older photographic records and other archival and inventory tasks.
Once again, several minor projects were carried out by the SME, including installing the LED strip lighting conversion to and securing all 35 display cabinets. This assistance is vital for the ongoing operation of the ECMC and we are very grateful to the CI, SSM and WO TTW, SME for their support in 2016. Likewise, we have had excellent support and assistance from the 2ER, in particular from the CO, XO, Adjt, RSM and Wks WO, as well as unit commanders and Administrator Tania Jones and a number of other RHQ staff. Our sincere thanks to you all for this much needed and appreciated contribution and support. We have also appreciated support from OC LRSC (Maj Mike Pettersen), DSS Property Group (WO2 Tom Donald and Shannon Quirke) and Spotless in the operation and maintenance of the ECMC. Given that there is only a few of us trying to keep the ECMC open and running on a weekly basis, as well as managing the RNZE CT and various key projects, we do need assistance from you all. We wish that more retired members of the Corps currently living in the Manawatu would take on a more active interest in the ECMC.
Finally and to foreshadow our planned activities, objectives and focal points for 2017, including:
1. Continue to progress the RNZE Corps History project through to completion;
2. Keep the ECMC open every Thursday and operating satisfactorily;
3. Continue to rebuild, refurbish and refresh the ECMC museum display cabinets;
4. Explore other means and modes to display RNZE activities and functions about the ECMC;
5. Introduce an electronic system to support inventory and library collection work;
6. Continue to scan, digitise, post-process and store heritage material for future safekeeping;
7. Explore and introduce interactive electronic displays within the ECMC museum area;
8. Continue developing the website and relevant sub-pages on www.sappers.org.nz.;
9. Continue to seek external funding supplementation as required; and
10. Manage the RNZE CT in accordance with the Trust Deed and to meet all related compliance requirements.

Joe Hollander
Trustee/Trust Board Chair
RNZE Charitable Trust
Palmerston North
31 December 2016
RNZE-CT-Ann-Rept-2016

 

RNZE Charitable Trust (RNZE CT or “Trust”) “Annual Report” for 2015

It is indeed a pleasure that I submit this, our fourth annual report, which is provided to recognise our sponsors and supporters.  It also informs our parent bodies (namely the RNZE Corps Committee and Sappers Association (NZ) Inc) and wider Corps membership of the activities of the Trust during the 2015 calendar year.  Once again, we have had a busy, productive and successful year, now that we are well established since our formation in mid-2011.  The recently adopted “strap/tagline” of “Preserving RNZE Heritage”, more accurately describes the principle role of the Trust.

The RNZE Corps History project has progressed well throughout the year, with the completion of 53 oral history interviews (OHIs) of selected retired and serving members of the Corps.  A further seven OHIs of retired members are available from other sources, which means that we have some 60 OHIs to utilise for the project.  All OHI recordings have now been formally lodged with the Alexander Turnbull Library in Wellington as a condition of our DIA/LGB grant.  Both hard and electronic copies, including associated bios, photos, consent forms, etc, are secured at the ECMC.  Our project author and historian, Peter Cooke, completed the final OHIs and also his initial research phase, involving visits to the ECMC, Engineer Reunion and Auckland.  He has submitted regular quarterly project reports and also the first draft chapter of the book.  This is currently being reviewed by the Corps History Project Advisory Group and we look forward to further chapters being released for review on a 4-6 weekly basis throughout 2016-17.  Peter will also make a trip to the UK in April – May 2016 to visit a number of Royal Engineer and archival establishments to further close the gap on some early NZE and RNZE history.  We plan that his manuscript will be completed by mid-2017, as he assists us to find and engage a suitable publisher, so that we can release and launch the publication in late 2017/early 2018. So far, we have expended $107,467 of the $168,617 funds raised for this project, including the $98,914 (all amounts excluding GST) LGB contribution.  Unfortunately, NZDF/Army is unable to provide any further funding support for this project.

Work on rebuilding the museum displays has also progressed, as most of our 35 display cabinets have been worked on, or are almost completed.  Displays still to be completed include the remainder of Afghanistan, Iraq and Timor L’este, where these are still awaiting further artefacts, memorabilia and photos to fill up the cabinets. We would also like to build a new display showing RNZE involvement in the Middle East, in particular MFO Sinai.  Up to 15 existing display cabinets now require refurbishment and refreshing, which will be undertaken over the next year or so.  We would still like to establish a WW1 trench emplacement in the grounds adjacent to the main building.  We are also looking at placing older RNZE equipment on the concrete plinths at the entrance to the ECMC, plus more Bailey panels around the entrance pathway periphery.  The LED strip lighting conversion project to all display cabinets has now been completed and has made a huge improvement to all displays.

We have had over 2,475 visitors through the ECMC since commencing records in mid-2013, 968 in 2015 (915 in 2014).  These have included a wide range of local and international, serving and retired members of the NZDF and RNZE, general public, schools and clubs, etc.  The local IPENZ chapter made several visits during the year and also donations to the Trust, which all have been greatly appreciated. Basic Combat Engineer course participants and personnel from other courses run by the SME have also made visits to the ECMC complex.  We remain members of Museums Aotearoa and are shown in their annual directory and website, as a museum worthy of a visit.  The ECMC is becoming better known within the Manawatu and wider community and that in turn enables us to publicise the Corps and meet our object of “Preserving RNZE Heritage”.

Our information, communications, research and technology (ICR&T) development is now in Stage 3 and has proven successful, involving bringing more electronic displays (now WW1, WW2 and two displays of contemporary RNZE activity/roles) into the museum area.  We now have a full and portable multi-media presentation package to support the military history and other presentations within the ECMC and elsewhere.  Funds have also been provided for the further development and upgrade of the “Sappers” website, which serves the Sappers Association, ECMC, RNZE Trust, 2nd Engineer Regiment, SME and Corps as a whole.  This is linked to other social media sites, as well as being enabled for all related organisations to communicate with serving and retired members of the Corps, through this medium.  All of this activity has been funded from external sources and is much appreciated by the Trust (our sponsors are recognised below, for their generous and valuable contributions).

We continue with the challenging task of cataloguing all of our “assets of the Trust”, now with some 8,245 items of the ECMC/RNZE CT “collection” (4,379 screens) inventoried (out of an estimated 60,000 items, including some 2,066 photos, negatives, slides, plates, etc) and with an estimated recorded value of $321,500.  Our comprehensive insurance cover is reviewed annually and was increased in value to $305,000 (plus Trust liability insurance), when the policy was renewed in April last year.  We have had to relocate our stored items into an external expandable (old medical operating theatre) container adjacent to the main building and garage.  This has enabled us to review items of equipment, clothing and photographic and document records, to inventory, sort and store them again in more suitable facilities.

Our financial situation remains in a reasonably healthy state, as most of the major projects and procurements in 2015 were covered by external funding sponsors.  We sincerely acknowledge and appreciate the support from our sponsors and regular contributors, as well as other donors.  Our regular contributors have further reduced from 21 to 15 over the year or approx $213 per month (we used to have over 130 regular contributors a couple of decades ago), although the donations total contributed for the year was in the order of $9,200.  The latter also includes other contributions from the Auckland Sapper Officers’ Mess, IPENZ (Manawatu) Branch, the ECMC donations (visitors and history presentations) box and other miscellaneous donors.  Our six-monthly GST rebates also assisted in keeping the funds for ECMC operational purposes in balance.  Only six applications were submitted this year for funding supplementation to a total value of $65,089 (excl GST). We received a total of $13,549 (excl GST) from grants as a result of approved and successful applications.  Our generous sponsors and supporters for 2015 included Eastern and Central Community Trust (ECCT), Mainland Foundation, Pub Charity, Ideal Electrical (PN), Eyerite Signs (Levin), Ecostock (Akl), Advantage Computers Ltd (PN), Inspire Net (PN) and Joel Moocarme (Graphic Designer, PN), some of whom provided multiple contributions during the year.  All of the latter will be shown listed in our audited annual financial report and statements of accounts for 2015.

The monthly military history presentation series organised by Clas Chamberlain, was provided from February to November and included a wide range of excellent and informative presentations delivered by Clas himself, along with Professor Glyn Harper (Massey University), Comd 1 (NZ) Bde (Col Nick Gillard), PNCC City Library Archive and Research team, Dr Chris Pugsley, RAdm (Rtd) David Ledson, Sheryl McNabb, Sqn Ldr (Rtd) Paul Harrison, Lt Col (Rtd) Terry Kinloch, to name a few.  Topics included “Johnny ENZED”, “NZ Div on the Western Front”, “A Soldiers Life in the Archives”, “Small Ships – Big Fish”, “3 Sqn RNZAF History”, “100 years of Military Nursing”, “NZ Mounted Rifle Brigade in WW1”, “Aspects of the Campaign in Gallipoli” and “The National War Memorial”.  As the ECMC lecture room now houses the HQ for QAMR, these presentations are now held in the Linton Camp (LRSC) Conference Room, only for an hour during the midday period each month and serve as a useful means of keeping these important topics alive and at the forefront of our attention.  Attendees come from all around, including the PNCC Library history team, PNRSA, Manawatu History Teachers Network, Manawatu Officers Club, plus serving military and civilian staff from Linton Camp and other NZDF elements in Palmerston North.

The Trust Board held its meetings every three months throughout the year, performing all of the requirements of our objects in accordance with the Trust Deed.  All relevant reports have been prepared, approved and submitted to Charities Services and are shown on their website.  Hon Col George Butcher and Mike Owen have now stepped down as trustees and I want to take this opportunity on behalf of the Trust in particularly thanking them for their contribution and support throughout the year.  George was a foundation trustee and has been with us and as a strong supporter of and contributor to the ECMC for many years.  He has now relocated from Masterton to Opotiki and we wish him all the best for the future in his new home location.  Replacement trustees Cliff Parker (a Vice-Patron of the Sappers Association) and Greg Findon (as our new Treasurer and as a past Treasurer for the Sappers Association) were appointed in late 2015.  My sincere thanks also to our ongoing trustees including Clas Chamberlain and Don Jones, along with CO 2ER and Regt Col RNZE, Lt Col Paul Hayward and RSM 2ER, WO1 Lyall Mooney, your assistance has been much appreciated.

Over 50 personnel from RNZE units have provided valuable assistance to the ECMC for a few hours each Thursday, as part of the RNZE monthly duty unit assistance scheme.  This was instituted by the RSM 2ER in mid-2014 and managed by the SSMs of each of the units of 2nd Engr Regt and the SME according to a monthly schedule and task list.  This enabled a wide range of tasks to be undertaken to assist us in the ongoing maintenance of the ECMC and other RNZE CT administrative requirements.  Volunteers including George Butcher and Graham Sims from Masterton have come across every few months to lend a hand, as well as Mike Earley of PN who has been a regular assist throughout 2015.

A number of minor projects were carried out by the SME, including some fixtures in the adjacent garage store and workshop, electrical and lighting tasks within the museum area, plus the LED strip lighting conversion to all 35 display cabinets.  This assistance is vital for the ongoing operation of the ECMC and we are very grateful to the CI, SSM and STI SME for their support in 2015.  Likewise, we have had excellent support and assistance from the 2ER, in particular from the CO, XO, Adjt and RSM, as well as unit commanders and Administrator Tania Jones and a number of other RHQ staff.  Thank you all for this much needed and appreciated contribution and support.  We have also appreciated support from OC LRSC (Maj Mike Pettersen) and DSS Property Group (WO2 Tom Donald) in the operation and maintenance of the ECMC.  Given that there is only a few of us trying to keep the ECMC running on a weekly basis, as well as managing the RNZE CT and various key projects, we do need assistance from all of you.  We wish that more retired members of the Corps in the Manawatu would take on a more active interest in the ECMC.

Finally and to foreshadow our planned activities, objectives and focal points for 2016, these include:

  1. Continue to progress the RNZE Corps History project through to completion;
  2. Keep the ECMC open every Thursday and operating satisfactorily;
  3. Continue to rebuild, refurbish and refresh the ECMC museum display cabinets;
  4. Explore other means and modes to display RNZE activities and functions about the ECMC;
  5. Introduce a bar coding system to support inventory and library collection work;
  6. Explore and introduce interactive electronic displays within the ECMC museum area;
  7. Continue developing the website and relevant sub-pages on sappers.org.nz.; and
  8. Manage the RNZE CT in accordance with the Trust Deed and to meet all related compliance requirements.Joe Hollander
    Trustee/Trust Board Chair
    RNZE Charitable Trust
    Palmerston North
    31 December 2015RNZE-CT-Ann-Rept-2015

 

RNZE Charitable Trust (RNZE CT or “Trust”) “Annual Report” for 2014

This is our third annual report, which is provided to recognise our sponsors and supporters and also to inform our parent bodies (namely the RNZE Corps Committee and Sappers Association (NZ) Inc) and wider Corps membership of the activities of the Trust during the calendar year 2014. Once again, we have had a busy but very successful year, now that we are well established since formation in mid-2011. We have also adopted the “strap/tagline” of “Preserving RNZE Heritage”, to more accurately describe the principle role of the Trust. This is now shown on our website and on all of our correspondence and promotional/publicity material.

The RNZE Corps History project progressed well throughout the year, as we have completed some 50 oral history interviews (OHIs) of selected retired and serving members of the Corps. A further 6-7 OHIs will be completed in early 2015 and this will conclude the oral history phase of the project. Funds raised (just over $65,000) from various sources, has enabled us to complete this important work and to enable our OHI contractor, David Young of Wellington, to add a further number of OHIs to those previously completed by Claire Hall in 2012-13. Just before the end of 2014, the Lottery Grants Board made a very significant contribution towards the research and writing phase of the project, to take place over the period 2015-16. This has enabled us to select and appoint our historian author, Peter Cooke of Wellington, to undertake this work. Peter has been associated with us for many years and is very familiar with the Corps, ECMC and our heritage aspirations and has already started to complete the final OHIs and commence his research and commission with us. Hopefully, he will complete his manuscript by early 2017 and assist us to engage a suitable publisher, so that we can release and launch the publication in late 2017/early 2018.

Work on rebuilding the museum displays has also progressed, as 31 of our 35 display cabinets (including Cambodia/Laos, Pakistan, the new “Earle collection” and a start to the Afghanistan, Iraq and Timor L’este displays) have been worked on/almost completed. Displays still to be completed include Angola, Mozambique, Namibia and the remainder of Afghanistan, Iraq and Timor L’este. Several of these are still awaiting further artefacts, memorabilia and photos to fill up the displays. We would also like to build a new display showing RNZE involvement in the Middle East, in particular MFO Sinai. Up to 15 existing display cabinets now require refurbishment and refreshing, which will be undertaken over the next year or so. We would like to establish a WW1 trench emplacement in the grounds adjacent to the main building. We are also looking at placing older RNZE equipment on the concrete plinths at the entrance to the ECMC, plus more Bailey panels at the entrance pathway periphery. The LED lighting trial was a great success and we hope to convert all display cabinets to LED strip lighting during 2015.

We have had over 1,400 visitors through the ECMC since commencing records in mid-2013, 900 in 2014. These have included the CDF, DSM and entourage in early 2014, Prof Hew Strachan (world renowned military historian and author), Dr Andrew Cleland (ex-CEO, IPENZ and now CEO, RSNZ), Prof Glyn Harper, along with groups, individuals, ex-RNZE personnel, PNCC History Week tours, Basic Combat Engineer course participants and from other courses run by the SME, overseas (RE and USACE and Marine) engineers and general public visitors and so on. The ECMC is becoming better known amongst the Manawatu and wider community and that in turn enables us to publicise the Corps and meet the object of our new “strap/tagline” of “Preserving RNZE Heritage”.

Our information, communications, research and technology (ICR&T) development in Stages 1 and 2 have proven successful, involving bringing Broadband, the internet and a wireless environment into the ECMC, along with electronic display and multi-function printers with digitising and scanning capability equipment and a secure back-up system. We hope to embark upon ICR&T Stage 3 in early 2015, as we expand the electronic display equipment range within the ECMC museum area, introduce bar coding to support our inventory and library cataloguing processes, plus portable multi-media presentation equipment for the military history lecture presentations and other Corps, RNZE CT and ECMC presentations external to the ECMC and for the community at large.

We are continuing with the laborious task of cataloguing all of our “assets of the Trust”, with some 5,800 items (3,200 screens) inventoried (out of an estimated 60,000 items, including some 6-7,000 photos, negatives, slides, plates, etc), with an estimated recorded value of $305,000. Out comprehensive insurance cover will be increased to $300,000, when policy renewal is due in April 2015.

Our financial situation is in a reasonably healthy state, as most major projects and procurements in 2014 were covered by external funding sponsors. We sincerely acknowledge and appreciate the support from our sponsors and regular contributors, as well as other donors and individuals. Our regular contributors reduced from 27 to 21 over the year (we used to have over 130 regular contributors a decade or so ago), although the total raised for the year was in the order of $6,000. Our six-monthly GST rebates also assisted in keeping the funds for operational purposes in balance. Some 16 applications were submitted for funding supplementation to a total value of $235,335 (excl GST) and we received a total of $136,088 (excl GST) from grants as a result of approved and successful applications. Our generous sponsors and supporters for 2014 included Pub Charity, Infinity Foundation, Eastern and Central Community Trust, Mainland Foundation, Ideal Electrical (PN), Eyerite Signs (Levin), Ecostock (Akl), Advantage Computers Ltd (PN), Inspire Net (PN), Joel Moocarme (Graphic Designer, PN), Trophy Specialists (PN) and the Lottery Grants Board, some of whom provided multiple and significant contributions. All of the latter will be shown listed in our audited annual financial report and statements of accounts for 2014.

The monthly military history presentation series organised by Clas Chamberlain, was provided from February to November and included a wide range of excellent and informative presentations delivered by current and past RNZE unit commanders and personnel, as well as Professor Glyn Harper, Comd 1 (NZ) Bde (Col Nick Gillard), the RSM 2ER, to name a few. Topics included RNZE and other deployments to Iraq, Namibia, Sudan, as well as engineer amphibious operations in the Philippines, WW1 actions in the Somme and Ypres, a significant weapons collection and others. Another excellent series is prepared for 2015, including more on WW1, RNZE in the Middle East and Antarctica, 100 years of Army Nursing and so on. These presentations are held at the ECMC for only an hour during the midday period each month and serve as a useful means of keeping these important topics alive and at the forefront of our attention. Attendees come from all around, including the PNCC Library history team, Manawatu History Teachers Network, Manawatu Officers Club, plus serving military and civilian staff from Linton Camp and other NZDF elements in Palmerston North. It would be good to see more uniform personnel attend these presentations to broaden their military history knowledge and awareness.

The Trust Board continued to meet on a quarterly basis throughout the year, performing all of the requirements of our objects in accordance with the Trust Deed. As a number of trustees will be leaving us at the beginning of 2015, including Tony Wilson, Ben Pitt and Darrin Waitere, I want to take this opportunity on behalf of the Trust in particularly thanking them for their contribution and support throughout the year. Replacement trustees will be appointed at the first Trust Board meeting in 2015. My sincere thanks also to our ongoing trustees including George Butcher, Clas Chamberlain, Don Jones and Mike Owen, your assistance has been much appreciated. We have had a number of changes of Secretary and Treasurer throughout the year and our grateful thanks go to Lt Ingrid Gillingham, Lt Andy Blackburn, Lt Cam Allan and Lt James Brosnan for their contributions in these positions. Also to our new Secretary Lt Mike Lawry and Treasurer 2Lt Leroy Judge, we hope this will be an interesting experience for you, but do appreciate your support.

Over 50 personnel from RNZE units have provided valuable assistance to the ECMC for a few hours each Thursday, as part of the RNZE monthly duty unit assistance system. This was instituted by the RSM 2ER in mid-2014 and managed by the SSMs of each of the units of 2nd Engr Regt according to a monthly schedule and task list. This enabled a wide range of tasks to be undertaken to assist us in the ongoing maintenance of the ECMC and other RNZE CT administrative requirements. Volunteers including George Butcher and Graham Sims from Masterton, have come across every few months to lend a hand.

A number of minor projects were carried out by the SME, to improve the shelving in the uniform store, ancillaries in the adjacent garage workshop, additional electrical outlets, map cataloguing and storage, LED lighting trial and so on. This assistance is vital for the ongoing operation of the ECMC and we are very grateful to the CI, SSM and STI SME for their excellent support in 2014. Likewise, we have had excellent support and assistance from the 2ER, in particular from the CO, XO, Adjt and RSM, as well as Administrator Tania Jones and a number of other RHQ staff. Thank you all for this much needed and appreciated contribution and support. We have also appreciated support from OC LRSC (Maj Mike Pettersen) and DSS Property Group (WO2 Tom Donald) in the operation and maintenance of the ECMC. Given that there is only the two of us trying to keep the ECMC running on a weekly basis, as well as managing the RNZE CT and various key projects, we do need assistance from all of you and wish that more retired members of the Corps in the Manawatu would take a more active interest in the ECMC.
Finally and to foreshadow our planned activities, objectives and focal points for 2015, these include :
1. Continue to progress the RNZE Corps History project;
2. Keep the ECMC open every Thursday and operating satisfactorily;
3. Continue the rebuild, refurbishment and refreshment of ECMC museum displays;
4. Explore other means and modes to display RNZE activities and functions about the ECMC;
5. Convert all display cabinets to LED strip lighting;
6. Procure appropriate multi-media presentation equipment;
7. Introduce a bar coding system to support inventory and library collection work;
8. Expand electronic displays and equipment in the ECMC museum area;
9. Continue developing the website and relevant sub-pages on www.sappers.org.nz.; and
10. Manage the RNZE CT in accordance with the Trust Deed and to meet all related compliance requirements.

Joe Hollander
Trustee/Trust Board Chair
RNZE Charitable Trust
Palmerston North
31 December 2014
RNZE-CT-Ann-Rept-2014

 

RNZE Charitable Trust (RNZE CT or “Trust”) “Annual Report” for 2013

We are pleased to provide this report based on the activity of the Trust during the 2013 calendar year. The Trust has had a very challenging, but satisfying year in the progress it has made in a number of areas covering the objects of the Trust and these are explained further below. Although we are not obliged to provide an annual report for compliance purposes, we do this to recognise our sponsors and supporters, as well as ensuring that the activities of the Trust are published for members of our parent bodies, namely the RNZE Corps Committee and the Sappers Association (NZ) Inc.

The rebuild of the ECMC collection continues with 27 of the 35 displays in the museum area now completed. The remaining eight display cabinets are awaiting further contributions of artefacts and memorabilia, to cover areas and deployments including Afghanistan, Iraq and Timor-Leste, for example. Another major challenge is identifying many of the current contributions and photos for a wide range of RNZE deployments and operations, where the location, date, task and names of individuals are not provided. Any further assistance both serving and retired members of the Corps can provide in these areas would really be appreciated. Some of the display cabinets have internal lighting installed to improve their utility and it is hoped to continue with the remainder of the cabinets as funding permits. We are experimenting with LED lighting to increase the light levels and reduce heat generated by these appliances, during the next year or so.

We are very grateful for the generous sponsorship from Pub Charity, which has enabled us to complete the first two stages of our “ICR&T” project and we now have a range of new computing, copying, digitizing, scanning and electronic display equipment operating within the ECMC. This includes both hardware and software all provided at discounted costs by Advantage Computers Ltd of Palmerston North and Techsoup NZ. Also, a Broadband connection has been provided by Inspire Net, which enables internet access and a new email address . We hope to have a website dedicated to the ECMC and the RNZE CT established during 2014.

Thanks to 2nd Engr Regt, the SME and DSS Property Group, the adjacent double-garage is now operating as a workshop and store for the ECMC, covered by both fire and security detection systems. This has enabled our collection of maps, plans, framed photos and pictures, old Sapper equipment, trophies and other important records and memorabilia to be properly housed, but yet to be fully inventoried. Signage designed and manufactured by Eyeright Signs of Levin, has been funded from our own resources and installed about the ECMC buildings, bringing a little more attention to the complex and what is housed there. In addition, similarly designed street and ‘wayfinding’ signage has been produced and will be installed about Linton Camp in 2014.

Our ongoing building of relationships has expanded with meetings and visits from representatives of Te Manawa Science Centre and Museum of Palmerston North, Massey University, the Wanganui Regional Museum, the “World War 100” office, Wanganui District Library, Museums Aotearoa, the HQ NZDF Heritage Advisor and many others during the year. We are now a full member of Museums Aotearoa and registered on their website, which will increase awareness of the ECMC and RNZE CT nationally. This might also bring more visitors to the complex, which creates another demand which will need to be considered and resourced in the future. During 2013 and with the ECMC only being open one day a week, the ECMC was visited by over 550 members of the public. We also received a visit from CDF, Lt Gen Rhys Jones, CNZM and his entourage in early December 2013, they were all most impressed with the ECMC and its amenity, collection and displays, etc.

One of our major challenges is the cataloguing and inventory of the “Corps collection” contained within the ECMC. At present, we have recorded over 2,600 individual items or in excess of 4,900 entries, with a total value of some $288,000. We believe that this is only about 10% of the items stored or on display within the ECMC complex and efforts are being made to continue this important work. Our specialised comprehensive insurance policy to cover the “collection” (as assets of the Trust), is currently valued at $250,000 and is reviewed regularly to ensure that we have appropriate protection for the “collection”.

Clas Chamberlain continues to arrange the RNZE History Lecture series, which has been operating successfully for three and a half years now. These events are held at the ECMC at midday, on the second Thursday of each month (February through November) and cover a wide range of military, engineering and historical topics, as well as overseas deployments both past and present. We have had many excellent and expert presenters from all around NZ deliver these lectures. It is unfortunate that the attendance at many of these presentations has not been the best and we hope that the 2014 lecture series will attract a better following and turnout.

The RNZE Corps History project continues to progress, albeit slowly as funding permits. During 2013, we managed to resume activity and have completed 8 (from Palmerston North and Wellington) more oral history interview recordings and transcriptions. There are a further 3 to follow early in 2014, as well as up to an additional 5-6 from the Auckland area. This means that we have now completed Stage 1A (18 selected interviews in 2012), partial completion of Stage 1B (8 further interviews, with some 8 to follow in 2014) and propose to jump to Stage 3 (interviews with 16-20 serving Sappers of all ranks) later in 2014. This will complete the oral history interview phase as we advance towards Stage 4 in the selection and engagement of a suitable author and commence the writing of an authorative Corps history proper. The writer continues to project manage this activity, which can be very challenging in the selection and securing of suitable interview candidates and then coordinating this with our external contractor. We continue to appreciate the advice and assistance of the Ministry of Culture and Heritage history group (Claire Hall), as well as the efforts of our new oral history contractor, David Young of Wellington. David has been working with us on the Stage 1B interviews in 2013, as well as all the post-production and sound engineering works undertaken by Anaru Dalziel of Valley Audio in Wellington. Thanks to ECCT for supporting us with sponsorship towards this important project, which does require more positive funding in the future, if we are to realise the completion of the history book for a release in 2016-17 !

I am pleased to report that we have seen an increase in our regular donors and contributors in recent months. Thanks to a concerted effort by the SME, we now have some 27 contributors, up from 16 at the end of 2012 and now providing some $7,000 annually in donations. The SME also held a fund raising event and passed on over $800 in cash in late 2013 as a donation towards the Trust. We must also record the generous contribution of Andrew Fisher (a retired Sapper officer) of “Ecostock”, Auckland, who has made a significant automatic weekly payment towards the Trust. These funds all go towards the maintenance and operation of the ECMC library and museum, as well as funding the RNZE Corps history project. Of the $105,406 (excl GST) applied for from other charitable trusts for funding supplementation, we only received a total of $18,535 (excl GST). The latter grants were directed towards the two stages of the ICR&T project, specialised restoration consumables, new promotional brochures for the ECMC library and museum, as well as St Martin’s RNZE and Garrison Chapel and the RNZE Corps History project. We will continue to work with a number of other charitable trusts to raise funds for the key projects in support of the objects of the Trust. We would appreciate the contributions of more serving and retired Sappers, to ensure that we continue to progress these projects and ensure that the ECMC and RNZE CT survive in the future.

The Trust Board continued to meet on a quarterly basis throughout 2013, overseeing its responsibilities in accordance with the Trust Deed. Trustees include George Butcher, Anthony Wilson, Ben Pitt, Don Jones, Darrin Waitere, Clas Chamberlain, Mike Owen and myself. We were extremely well served by WO2 John Flintoft as our Treasurer (who is now overseas and replaced by Lt Andy Blackburn of 25ESS) and appreciated his contribution and dedication, as well as Lt Ingrid Gillingham of 25ESS as our Secretary. We are still working on the financial reports for 2013, but can report at this early stage that there was a small surplus achieved. More will be reported later, as we file our audited financial report with the Charities Section of the Department of Internal Affairs. We really appreciate the time and effort that many of the Trustees devote towards the workings of the ECMC and Trust, in addition to our Secretary and Treasurer and HQ staff of both the 2nd Engr Regt and the SME.

Finally, we wish to sincerely thank and recognise the contribution made by our sponsors and supporters within the community. To Pub Charity (ICR&T Stages 1 and 2), ECCT (RNZE Corps History project), Infinity Foundation Ltd (specialised restoration consumables), The Page (Public) Trust (promotional brochures), Advantage Computers Ltd (specialist IC&T advice and equipment supply and installation), Inspire Net (specialist advice and discounted Broadband connection and internet services), Techsoup NZ (computer software), Eyeright Signs (signage design, manufacture and installation), our most sincere appreciation. To our donors and contributors, as well as 2nd Engr Regt, the SME and DSS Property Group, we also appreciated your contribution and support. Without all this, both the ECMC and Trust could not operate or provide and maintain a valued service to the public of NZ.
~

The rebuild of the ECMC collection continues with 27 of the 35 displays in the museum area now completed. The remaining eight display cabinets are awaiting further contributions of artefacts and memorabilia, to cover areas and deployments including Afghanistan, Iraq and Timor-Leste, for example. Another major challenge is identifying many of the current contributions and photos for a wide range of RNZE deployments and operations, where the location, date, task and names of individuals are not provided. Any further assistance both serving and retired members of the Corps can provide in these areas would really be appreciated. Some of the display cabinets have internal lighting installed to improve their utility and it is hoped to continue with the remainder of the cabinets as funding permits. We are experimenting with LED lighting to increase the light levels and reduce heat generated by these appliances, during the next year or so.

We are very grateful for the generous sponsorship from Pub Charity, which has enabled us to complete the first two stages of our “ICR&T” project and we now have a range of new computing, copying, digitizing, scanning and electronic display equipment operating within the ECMC. This includes both hardware and software all provided at discounted costs by Advantage Computers Ltd of Palmerston North and Techsoup NZ. Also, a Broadband connection has been provided by Inspire Net, which enables internet access and a new email address . We hope to have a website dedicated to the ECMC and the RNZE CT established during 2014.

Thanks to 2nd Engr Regt, the SME and DSS Property Group, the adjacent double-garage is now operating as a workshop and store for the ECMC, covered by both fire and security detection systems. This has enabled our collection of maps, plans, framed photos and pictures, old Sapper equipment, trophies and other important records and memorabilia to be properly housed, but yet to be fully inventoried. Signage designed and manufactured by Eyeright Signs of Levin, has been funded from our own resources and installed about the ECMC buildings, bringing a little more attention to the complex and what is housed there. In addition, similarly designed street and ‘wayfinding’ signage has been produced and will be installed about Linton Camp in 2014.

Our ongoing building of relationships has expanded with meetings and visits from representatives of Te Manawa Science Centre and Museum of Palmerston North, Massey University, the Wanganui Regional Museum, the “World War 100” office, Wanganui District Library, Museums Aotearoa, the HQ NZDF Heritage Advisor and many others during the year. We are now a full member of Museums Aotearoa and registered on their website, which will increase awareness of the ECMC and RNZE CT nationally. This might also bring more visitors to the complex, which creates another demand which will need to be considered and resourced in the future. During 2013 and with the ECMC only being open one day a week, the ECMC was visited by over 550 members of the public. We also received a visit from CDF, Lt Gen Rhys Jones, CNZM and his entourage in early December 2013, they were all most impressed with the ECMC and its amenity, collection and displays, etc.

One of our major challenges is the cataloguing and inventory of the “Corps collection” contained within the ECMC. At present, we have recorded over 2,600 individual items or in excess of 4,900 entries, with a total value of some $288,000. We believe that this is only about 10% of the items stored or on display within the ECMC complex and efforts are being made to continue this important work. Our specialised comprehensive insurance policy to cover the “collection” (as assets of the Trust), is currently valued at $250,000 and is reviewed regularly to ensure that we have appropriate protection for the “collection”.

Clas Chamberlain continues to arrange the RNZE History Lecture series, which has been operating successfully for three and a half years now. These events are held at the ECMC at midday, on the second Thursday of each month (February through November) and cover a wide range of military, engineering and historical topics, as well as overseas deployments both past and present. We have had many excellent and expert presenters from all around NZ deliver these lectures. It is unfortunate that the attendance at many of these presentations has not been the best and we hope that the 2014 lecture series will attract a better following and turnout.

The RNZE Corps History project continues to progress, albeit slowly as funding permits. During 2013, we managed to resume activity and have completed 8 (from Palmerston North and Wellington) more oral history interview recordings and transcriptions. There are a further 3 to follow early in 2014, as well as up to an additional 5-6 from the Auckland area. This means that we have now completed Stage 1A (18 selected interviews in 2012), partial completion of Stage 1B (8 further interviews, with some 8 to follow in 2014) and propose to jump to Stage 3 (interviews with 16-20 serving Sappers of all ranks) later in 2014. This will complete the oral history interview phase as we advance towards Stage 4 in the selection and engagement of a suitable author and commence the writing of an authorative Corps history proper. The writer continues to project manage this activity, which can be very challenging in the selection and securing of suitable interview candidates and then coordinating this with our external contractor. We continue to appreciate the advice and assistance of the Ministry of Culture and Heritage history group (Claire Hall), as well as the efforts of our new oral history contractor, David Young of Wellington. David has been working with us on the Stage 1B interviews in 2013, as well as all the post-production and sound engineering works undertaken by Anaru Dalziel of Valley Audio in Wellington. Thanks to ECCT for supporting us with sponsorship towards this important project, which does require more positive funding in the future, if we are to realise the completion of the history book for a release in 2016-17 !

I am pleased to report that we have seen an increase in our regular donors and contributors in recent months. Thanks to a concerted effort by the SME, we now have some 27 contributors, up from 16 at the end of 2012 and now providing some $7,000 annually in donations. The SME also held a fund raising event and passed on over $800 in cash in late 2013 as a donation towards the Trust. We must also record the generous contribution of Andrew Fisher (a retired Sapper officer) of “Ecostock”, Auckland, who has made a significant automatic weekly payment towards the Trust. These funds all go towards the maintenance and operation of the ECMC library and museum, as well as funding the RNZE Corps history project. Of the $105,406 (excl GST) applied for from other charitable trusts for funding supplementation, we only received a total of $18,535 (excl GST). The latter grants were directed towards the two stages of the ICR&T project, specialised restoration consumables, new promotional brochures for the ECMC library and museum, as well as St Martin’s RNZE and Garrison Chapel and the RNZE Corps History project. We will continue to work with a number of other charitable trusts to raise funds for the key projects in support of the objects of the Trust. We would appreciate the contributions of more serving and retired Sappers, to ensure that we continue to progress these projects and ensure that the ECMC and RNZE CT survive in the future.

The Trust Board continued to meet on a quarterly basis throughout 2013, overseeing its responsibilities in accordance with the Trust Deed. Trustees include George Butcher, Anthony Wilson, Ben Pitt, Don Jones, Darrin Waitere, Clas Chamberlain, Mike Owen and myself. We were extremely well served by WO2 John Flintoft as our Treasurer (who is now overseas and replaced by Lt Andy Blackburn of 25ESS) and appreciated his contribution and dedication, as well as Lt Ingrid Gillingham of 25ESS as our Secretary. We are still working on the financial reports for 2013, but can report at this early stage that there was a small surplus achieved. More will be reported later, as we file our audited financial report with the Charities Section of the Department of Internal Affairs. We really appreciate the time and effort that many of the Trustees devote towards the workings of the ECMC and Trust, in addition to our Secretary and Treasurer and HQ staff of both the 2nd Engr Regt and the SME.

Finally, we wish to sincerely thank and recognise the contribution made by our sponsors and supporters within the community. To Pub Charity (ICR&T Stages 1 and 2), ECCT (RNZE Corps History project), Infinity Foundation Ltd (specialised restoration consumables), The Page (Public) Trust (promotional brochures), Advantage Computers Ltd (specialist IC&T advice and equipment supply and installation), Inspire Net (specialist advice and discounted Broadband connection and internet services), Techsoup NZ (computer software), Eyeright Signs (signage design, manufacture and installation), our most sincere appreciation. To our donors and contributors, as well as 2nd Engr Regt, the SME and DSS Property Group, we also appreciated your contribution and support. Without all this, both the ECMC and Trust could not operate or provide and maintain a valued service to the public of NZ.

Joe Hollander
Trustee/Chair
RNZE Charitable Trust
Palmerston North
31 December 2013
RNZE-CT-Ann-Rept-2013

 

RNZE Charitable Trust (RNZE CT or “Trust”) “Annual Report” for 2012

This is the first full year of operation of the “Trust”, having been formed in May 2011, registered in July 2011 and having its inaugural Trust Board meeting on 4 August 2011.
The Trust has had a very positive year, making significant progress on many projects and tasks, as reported on below. Although we are not obliged to make an annual report, other than lodging our financial report with the Charities Section, I thought it might be of interest to Sappers Association members.

Trust Board members (Trustees) comprise George Butcher (Patron, Sappers Association), Anthony Wilson (Col Comdt, RNZE), Don Jones (Outgoing CO/Regt Col, RNZE), Ben Pitt (Incoming CO/Regt Col, RNZE), Mike Owen (Chair, Sappers Association Council), Darrin Waitere (RSM, 2nd Engr Regt), Clas Chamberlain (Corps Historian, Hon Curator and Deputy Chair) and myself (IPP, Sappers Association, Patron of the RNZE Reunion and Trust Board Chair). I want to acknowledge two original Trustees in Mike Pettersen and Brent Wilson, who resigned during the year for work-related reasons and thank both Darrin Waitere and Mike Owen for joining us as replacement Trustees. All of our original Trustees worked very hard to get the Trust up and running in a relatively short timeframe and we are indebted to them for their contribution and support. Brent Wilson was our inaugural Secty/Treas, now replaced by non-Trustee appointments of WO2 Wayne Bramley as Secty and WO2 John Flintoft as Treasurer. The Trust Board met on 23 February, 24 May, 9 August, 10 October and 13 December 2012, discharging its responsibilities in accordance with the Trust Deed and requirements of the Charities Section of the Department of Internal Affairs.

Although still working on completing the financial reports, the Trust had a modest surplus of some $4,200, after expenditure of over $8,000, which was spent on a range of ECMC rebuild and other project tasks. As at the end of 2012, we had $30,500 on investment. Currently, there are 15 fortnightly and one monthly contributors to the Trust fund, realising a total monthly income of some $173 or just over $2,000 per annum. Our funds are slowly building up, but we could do with more regular contributors and donors, to increase our revenue. These funds are used to support the operational undertakings of the objects of the Trust, particularly the rebuild of the ECMC library and museum, and the displays therein.

We were delighted to receive just under $7,000 from Pub Charity, to cover the cost of replacing two older computers, a printer, external backup and support equipment in the ECMC Office. This project will also involve the installation of wireless Broadband into the ECMC, which we hope will be completed in early 2013. The latter will enable the establishment of internet connections and a further stage of the “ICR&T” project to be undertaken in 2013. This will further expand the number of computers, printers, etc, in the ECMC to support digitising and scanning activities, research and other related tasks. Other charitable trust applications have been made to the Lion Trust (unsuccessful), Endeavour Community (unsuccessful), ECCT (Corps History project – awaiting result in Apr 13), Perlorus Trust (publicity/promotional materials and consumables), NZCT (security equipment/safes and insurance premium) and JBS Dudding Trust (mannequins and cabinet lighting). There are 5-6 other trust applications lined up for 2013 to cover further stages of the Corps History project, exterior and internal signage, additional ICR&T stages and so on. The main focus is to seek external funding assistance for the main projects being undertaken by the RNZE CT.

We have tried to ensure that the ECMC is open every Thursday, to ensure that work continues on the library and museum, as well as encouraging visitors to have a look around the displays. The feedback from the latter has been very positive indeed. The rebuild and refurbishment of the ECMC library and museum is around 70% complete, with some 25 of the 32 display cabinet areas completed. This is being undertaken by Clas and myself, with the odd visit from other supporters, including George Butcher and Bev Heffernan from Masterton, Bruce McDonald and some of the Sappers Association members from Palmerston North. We can certainly do with much more assistance and support in this area, so that we can keep the momentum up and ensure that the displays will be completed within the next couple of years. There is probably 3-4 more years worth of work, covering the scanning and digitising of materials, photos, slides, etc, along with cataloguing and inventory work, display and equipment refurbishment, to name but a few of the major works in progress.

For the Corps History project, we now have Stage 1A completed, with over 15 spot interviews (audio visual recordings and abstracts) on file and wish to advance to Stage 1B (another 24 spot interviews) and Stage 2 (5-6 detailed extended interviews) before the end of 2013. Ministry of Culture and Heritage have been retained as our project managers for this task and as soon as we get approval for external funding applications already submitted, this work will resume in earnest. We are also on the lookout for a suitable author for the written history, plus we want to interview serving Sappers on a range of overseas deployments undertaken over the past 10 years, from those who are still serving in the Corps/Army. That should provide us with sufficient material from which to get the actual history writing underway.

I am pleased to report that with generous assistance from the SME and 2nd Engr Regt, the garage established between the ECMC building and the Chapel has been fully fitted out with one half being devoted to storage of RNZE heritage items and the other as a workshop and materials store. This now means that a lot of the display rebuild, item refurbishment, signage and ticketing and model making is undertaken in an appropriate environment, returning the ECMC office to its original purpose. The “RNZE Collection”, which includes all the items contained within the ECMC, Chapel and garage/stores as assets of the Trust, now total over 3,100 separate items, with a collective value of over $270,000. Clas continues to update the on-line inventory of all items that we have either on display, file or in storage within the ECMC, which is a huge task on its own. We have increased our comprehensive specialist insurance policy coverage to $250,000, reviewable annually.

I also need to mention the RNZE history lecture series being coordinated by Clas. These have been very successful during the year, but not always well attended. They are held normally in the ECMC lecture room, on the second Thursday in each month at midday and normally last for an hour or so. They cover a wide range of topics, including those with a RNZE flavour and not, NZ history and overseas, delivered by a wide range of very professional speakers and historians. A lecture programme is in place for 2013 and we encourage attendance of interested folk from within Linton Camp and Palmerston North, as an excellent service provided by the Trust and as an adjunct to the ECMC.

As our Trust Deed enables us to work as a flexible and exemplary organisation and we seem to be the envy of other Corps in this regard, we have provided advice and assistance to RNZA, RNZAC and RNZ Sig for the establishment of their own charitable trusts, with the ability to collect, store, display their own heritage items. This is not to compete with or replace the National Army Museum in Waiouru or the ECMC, but to enable the major units within Linton Camp to do what the RNZE has, as an adjunct to the 2nd Engr Regt and SME. We have also had numerous visits from military and non-military individuals and groups, including RNZE, Members of Parliament, foreign military delegations, clubs, genealogy and historical interests and so on, throughout the year. This has helped to give the Trust and ECMC more public profile outside of Linton Camp. It is fair to say that all of these visitors have been very impressed with the level of displays and activities within the ECMC, along with making the odd donation as well.

In closing, I want to sincerely thank our close supporters (2nd Engr Regt and the SME), along with our current sponsors, including Pub Charity, Advantage Computers Limited of Palmerston North and Inspire Net of Palmerston North, the latter two organisations who have provided much of the equipment and services to the Trust (and ECMC) at significantly discounted rates, as well as technical advice and support at no cost. Without these organisations, we would not have been able to make as much progress as we did during the course of 2012. On behalf of the members of the RNZE CT Trust Board, may I extend to you all our sincere thanks and appreciation.

Joe Hollander
Trustee/ Chair
RNZE Charitable Trust
Palmerston North
31 December 2012
~

Trust Board members (Trustees) comprise George Butcher (Patron, Sappers Association), Anthony Wilson (Col Comdt, RNZE), Don Jones (Outgoing CO/Regt Col, RNZE), Ben Pitt (Incoming CO/Regt Col, RNZE), Mike Owen (Chair, Sappers Association Council), Darrin Waitere (RSM, 2nd Engr Regt), Clas Chamberlain (Corps Historian, Hon Curator and Deputy Chair) and myself (IPP, Sappers Association, Patron of the RNZE Reunion and Trust Board Chair). I want to acknowledge two original Trustees in Mike Pettersen and Brent Wilson, who resigned during the year for work-related reasons and thank both Darrin Waitere and Mike Owen for joining us as replacement Trustees. All of our original Trustees worked very hard to get the Trust up and running in a relatively short timeframe and we are indebted to them for their contribution and support. Brent Wilson was our inaugural Secty/Treas, now replaced by non-Trustee appointments of WO2 Wayne Bramley as Secty and WO2 John Flintoft as Treasurer. The Trust Board met on 23 February, 24 May, 9 August, 10 October and 13 December 2012, discharging its responsibilities in accordance with the Trust Deed and requirements of the Charities Section of the Department of Internal Affairs.

Although still working on completing the financial reports, the Trust had a modest surplus of some $4,200, after expenditure of over $8,000, which was spent on a range of ECMC rebuild and other project tasks. As at the end of 2012, we had $30,500 on investment. Currently, there are 15 fortnightly and one monthly contributors to the Trust fund, realising a total monthly income of some $173 or just over $2,000 per annum. Our funds are slowly building up, but we could do with more regular contributors and donors, to increase our revenue. These funds are used to support the operational undertakings of the objects of the Trust, particularly the rebuild of the ECMC library and museum, and the displays therein.

We were delighted to receive just under $7,000 from Pub Charity, to cover the cost of replacing two older computers, a printer, external backup and support equipment in the ECMC Office. This project will also involve the installation of wireless Broadband into the ECMC, which we hope will be completed in early 2013. The latter will enable the establishment of internet connections and a further stage of the “ICR&T” project to be undertaken in 2013. This will further expand the number of computers, printers, etc, in the ECMC to support digitising and scanning activities, research and other related tasks. Other charitable trust applications have been made to the Lion Trust (unsuccessful), Endeavour Community (unsuccessful), ECCT (Corps History project – awaiting result in Apr 13), Perlorus Trust (publicity/promotional materials and consumables), NZCT (security equipment/safes and insurance premium) and JBS Dudding Trust (mannequins and cabinet lighting). There are 5-6 other trust applications lined up for 2013 to cover further stages of the Corps History project, exterior and internal signage, additional ICR&T stages and so on. The main focus is to seek external funding assistance for the main projects being undertaken by the RNZE CT.

We have tried to ensure that the ECMC is open every Thursday, to ensure that work continues on the library and museum, as well as encouraging visitors to have a look around the displays. The feedback from the latter has been very positive indeed. The rebuild and refurbishment of the ECMC library and museum is around 70% complete, with some 25 of the 32 display cabinet areas completed. This is being undertaken by Clas and myself, with the odd visit from other supporters, including George Butcher and Bev Heffernan from Masterton, Bruce McDonald and some of the Sappers Association members from Palmerston North. We can certainly do with much more assistance and support in this area, so that we can keep the momentum up and ensure that the displays will be completed within the next couple of years. There is probably 3-4 more years worth of work, covering the scanning and digitising of materials, photos, slides, etc, along with cataloguing and inventory work, display and equipment refurbishment, to name but a few of the major works in progress.

For the Corps History project, we now have Stage 1A completed, with over 15 spot interviews (audio visual recordings and abstracts) on file and wish to advance to Stage 1B (another 24 spot interviews) and Stage 2 (5-6 detailed extended interviews) before the end of 2013. Ministry of Culture and Heritage have been retained as our project managers for this task and as soon as we get approval for external funding applications already submitted, this work will resume in earnest. We are also on the lookout for a suitable author for the written history, plus we want to interview serving Sappers on a range of overseas deployments undertaken over the past 10 years, from those who are still serving in the Corps/Army. That should provide us with sufficient material from which to get the actual history writing underway.

I am pleased to report that with generous assistance from the SME and 2nd Engr Regt, the garage established between the ECMC building and the Chapel has been fully fitted out with one half being devoted to storage of RNZE heritage items and the other as a workshop and materials store. This now means that a lot of the display rebuild, item refurbishment, signage and ticketing and model making is undertaken in an appropriate environment, returning the ECMC office to its original purpose. The “RNZE Collection”, which includes all the items contained within the ECMC, Chapel and garage/stores as assets of the Trust, now total over 3,100 separate items, with a collective value of over $270,000. Clas continues to update the on-line inventory of all items that we have either on display, file or in storage within the ECMC, which is a huge task on its own. We have increased our comprehensive specialist insurance policy coverage to $250,000, reviewable annually.

I also need to mention the RNZE history lecture series being coordinated by Clas. These have been very successful during the year, but not always well attended. They are held normally in the ECMC lecture room, on the second Thursday in each month at midday and normally last for an hour or so. They cover a wide range of topics, including those with a RNZE flavour and not, NZ history and overseas, delivered by a wide range of very professional speakers and historians. A lecture programme is in place for 2013 and we encourage attendance of interested folk from within Linton Camp and Palmerston North, as an excellent service provided by the Trust and as an adjunct to the ECMC.

As our Trust Deed enables us to work as a flexible and exemplary organisation and we seem to be the envy of other Corps in this regard, we have provided advice and assistance to RNZA, RNZAC and RNZ Sig for the establishment of their own charitable trusts, with the ability to collect, store, display their own heritage items. This is not to compete with or replace the National Army Museum in Waiouru or the ECMC, but to enable the major units within Linton Camp to do what the RNZE has, as an adjunct to the 2nd Engr Regt and SME. We have also had numerous visits from military and non-military individuals and groups, including RNZE, Members of Parliament, foreign military delegations, clubs, genealogy and historical interests and so on, throughout the year. This has helped to give the Trust and ECMC more public profile outside of Linton Camp. It is fair to say that all of these visitors have been very impressed with the level of displays and activities within the ECMC, along with making the odd donation as well.

In closing, I want to sincerely thank our close supporters (2nd Engr Regt and the SME), along with our current sponsors, including Pub Charity, Advantage Computers Limited of Palmerston North and Inspire Net of Palmerston North, the latter two organisations who have provided much of the equipment and services to the Trust (and ECMC) at significantly discounted rates, as well as technical advice and support at no cost. Without these organisations, we would not have been able to make as much progress as we did during the course of 2012. On behalf of the members of the RNZE CT Trust Board, may I extend to you all our sincere thanks and appreciation.

Joe Hollander
Trustee/ Chair
RNZE Charitable Trust
Palmerston North
31 December 2012
RNZE CT Ann Rept 2012

 

DOWNLOAD THE RNZE CT ANNUAL FINANCIAL REPORT 2018 HERE

DOWNLOAD THE LASTEST CHARITIES SERVICES SUMMARY HERE

DOWNLOAD THE RNZE CT ANNUAL FINANCIAL REPORT 2017 HERE

DOWNLOAD THE RNZE CT ANNUAL FINANCIAL REPORT 2015 HERE

DOWNLOAD THE RNZE CT ANNUAL FINANCIAL REPORT 2013 HERE

DOWNLOAD THE INDEPENDENT AUDIT REPORT HERE

DOWNLOAD THE RNZE CHARITABLE TRUST BALANCE SHEET HERE

RNZE CT Board Meeting Minutes

RNZE CT TB Minutes May 2019

RNZE CT TB Minutes February 2019

RNZE CT TB Minutes November 2018

RNZE CT TB Minutes August 2018

RNZE CT TB Minutes  May 2018

RNZE CT TB Minutes February 2018

RNZE CT TB Minutes November 2017

2ER Quarterly Bulletins

From the Regimental Colonel (Regt Col) RNZE and CO, 2ER (Lt Col Terry McDonald)

 

March 2019

Greetings Sappers of the RNZE,

I trust this email finds you well in 2019 and that you have landed well in the new year wherever you are in the world! This is the first quarterly update for 2019 to let you know what has been happening, and what is planned to happen in the short term for the Corps. After a relatively quiet closedown period over the festive season, the Corps landed hard in 2019 with a number of high tempo activities being undertaken. We have continued to maintain a relatively high exercise, exchange, course and deployment tempo as well as responding domestically to our own national emergencies. We have continued to have Sappers deployed to MANAWA (Iraq), RUA (Afghanistan), MOHUA (Iraq), TROY (Dubai) and FARAD (Sinai) as well as rotations preparing to go. Our Emergency Responders participated in OP VULCAN to Tasmania, Australia as well as partnering with Combat Engineers to provide an RNZE response to the Nelson fires. Australia does not appear to be out of the woods yet and we continue to be prepared to support any wider Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) deployment back there. The sad events in Christchurch recently have also had Sapper involvement – in support of the New Zealand Police our members undertook light construction work among other tasks in response to the aftermath. I would like to thank all of those either directly or indirectly involved with the professionalism you have shown during these tense times in our national history. These are events that will now forever be part of the New Zealand psyche, that we leaned forward to assist as we have done throughout our history, is something that we can all be immensely proud of.

In New Zealand, training is transitioning from the big individual period, particularly with the recent conclusion of the Basic Combat Engineer Course into broader sapper skills, in particularly the Combat Engineer small boats concentration being sponsored in Burnham by 3 Field Squadron. MILCON 19.1 has continued with the final delivery work being undertaken by 25 ESS on the Military Working Dogs facility (Ceasars Lines) which will be opened by the Minister of Defence on 03 May 2019. They have also conducted a number of smaller, but no less important, tasks training the construction capability bricks under the MILCON umbrella.

SME is continues to successfully deliver its course loading in particular, the Basic Combat Engineer course, Fire Intermediate and Tree Felling courses. In order to slow tempo for sub unit HQ, 3 Fd Sqn have continued to leverage their small boat work and are currently sponsoring the small boat concentration in Cass Bay / Burnham which is also the Introduction Into Service activity for the FC530 Zodiac platforms. This is a step change for the Corps in terms of capability with state of the art equipment for both the boat CES and individual equipment being provided as part of the project. 2 Fd Sqn is preparing to pick up the reins following the boating concentration and conduct the Bar Crossing Course in Foxton before stepping into ARRAS 19 to prepare and hone their collective engineer skills before stepping into the combined arms training of SARI BARI 19 / EX UBIQUE 19. They are also providing the basis of the 2 Engr Regt footprint deploying as part of the QAMR led Task Group Black on Exercise Hamel / Talisman Sabre in the Northern Territory in mid-2019.

Looking forward, SME have a full course loading for the balance of the financial year with Basic Fire course as well as the first of the new generation RNZE Search and Search Advisors Course being run. 3 Fd Sqn will be providing support to 2/1 RNZIR before gearing up to participate in EX PHANTOM MAJOR (Combat School support in Waiouru). 2 Fd Sqn will be supporting the introduction into service of the new Multi-Purpose Decontamination Station (MPDS) as well as preparing to receive the additional Reverse Osmosis equipment. 25 ESS will complete MILCON and switch to focus on their soldier / sapper skills with 2 Fd Sqn.

Other things that you need to be aware of, in no particular order:

1. Corps History Launch Palmerston North 2019 – You will be aware that the Corps History has been released and is now out on the shelves. We thank all involved with this project, from people providing input, oral histories, photos, book reviews, the author to deliver on behalf of Sappers all.

2. As part of this there are two official launches, the first is in Palmerston North as part of the Anzac Day lead up activities on 11 April 2019. This event is open to the public, all are welcome!

3. Corps History Launch Parliament 2019 – The second and more formal launch will be co-sponsored in parliament by the Minister of Defence and the Minister of Building and Construction. Due to security requirements, invitations have been sent to personnel, however all serving Sappers above the rank of SGT have been invited. It should be a good event and highly memorable.

4. RSM Change of Responsibility – WO1 Greg Hinch will formally change responsibility as the Regimental Sergeant Major on 291500 April 2019 to WO1 Brendon McDonald at the Elliott VC. I would like to thank WO1 Hinch for his dedicated and valuable service to the Corps, particularly in his current appointment and wish him well for his next deployed role. To WO1 McDonald, apart from having a cracking surname – in advance, welcome into the role, we look forward to serving with you as the Corps Warrant Officer.

5. CO Change of Command – There will be a parade to facilitate the change of command and welcome into the Unit, LTCOL Ian Brandon who will assume command of the Regiment and become the Regimental Colonel with effect 10 May 2019. LTCOL Brandon is well positioned to lead the Corps into the future and I know he is very much looking forward to coming in. The parade will occur 101330 May 2019 in the Regimental Lines, there will be more to follow in due course.

6. New Capability – The promised capability glacier has arrived, positively, with the new FC530’s landing in Burnham and Linton. The MPDS is still pending delivery as is the reverse osmosis. The challenge presented in terms of training time has been planned for and work around the infrastructure development continues. The intent remains to ensure that we have fit for purpose infrastructure in place and generate capital works for 25 ESS / SME to leverage. The most pressing capability issue currently is that of Fire, specifically the domestic response and rural fire appliances. This continues being addressed as a matter of urgency by both NZDF and MOD in conjunction with Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ). We are expecting two older model FENZ domestic appliances arriving in the next couple of weeks with additional units coming in the following weeks. In the longer term, the Corps has endorsed in principle that we become part of the FENZ roll out of vehicle rotation, five year old appliances held for five years then rotated with newer five year old appliances coming in. This should provide a good throughput and alleviate the requirement to own the fleet with the associated block retirement issues. The rural appliance replacement programme is still under development.

7. Sapper Bursary Scheme – if you were not aware, the RNZE Charitable Trust recently approved a trial grant for serving Sappers. The trial will last for 12 months to assess whether it will continue or not, this complimentary with grants that are also available through the Sappers Association. The grant is aimed at providing limited funds to support serving Corps’ members for hardship assistance, extra professional development (not covered by NZDF), adventure training/representation, pursuance of individual or team sports activities and representation and the like. The allocated amount is up to $500 per individual and are available to both RF and TF personnel. The application is to be made to CO 2 Engr Regt for endorsement prior to the Charitable Trust approving.

8. Corps Shop – there are new items, a new range at great prices, available to purchase from www.sas.co.nz , if you haven’t been along to have a look, please do!

9. RNZE Patches – the Corps has two main patches for use with MCU, they are for those posted to the Regiment and the staff of SME(NZ). There has been no patch available for apprentices, students or for Corps members posted outside of the Unit. The Army Clothing Board recently approved a new patch, ‘RNZE general’ that can be worn by the Corps in all arms posts. The patch looks similar to the current 2 Engr Regt one, however has ‘ubique’ embroidered across the top and ‘RNZE’ across the bottom. This patch is authorised to be worn on the right arm Velcro and is also available through the RNZE Corps Shop. It makes our members readily identifiable as Sappers and part of the Corps in lieu of Corps Belts.

All of the events are open to non-serving sappers and personnel outside of the immediate Unit / School environment. If you would like to be involved or participate in any way, please let us know.

There are a few more key things that I believe we should celebrate, in no particular order. This list is not exhaustive and there are plenty more on our Corps social media sites, however some things worthy of individual mention are:

1. SPR Joshua Hill and SGT Josh Bowick, both of SME(NZ) for there efforts stopping and rendering first aid assistance / traffic control while emergency services responded to a vehicle accient in late January. Well done, this demonstrated our core values!
2. OP VULCAN Nelson and OP VULCAN Tasmania teams – at little or no notice our emergency responders deployed to both Australia and with our Combat Engineers and FRT to Nelson to support FENZ. Well done to you all and your families who put up with your absence, you did extremely well in trying conditions!
3. CPL Sean Dalgleish, 2 Engr Wksps who supported the conduct after capture training in Canada, your effort was ell appreciated and recognised by the Canadian Armed Forces Conduct After Capture training centre, nicely done!
4. Light Engineering Team who recently returned from Antarctica, I received an unsolicited email from Mr Pedro Salom the Assistant Area Manager at McMurdo Station who spoke extremely highly of your efforts while deployed and his words reflect extremely positively on all personnel involved with the deployment.
5. SPR Peter Spedding for receiving Top Student on the Intermediate Fire Course
6. CPL Jaxon Tagavaitau, SPR Troy Sherriff and SPR Ian Tichbourne who were recently awarded their Army Rugby Sports Pockets
7. CPL Ra Broughton for receiving recognition of his 25th game for Army Rugby by getting his ‘black’ cap.
8. SPR Kelsey Taylor, LCPL Molly Lincoln and SPR Nikita Ruwhiu who were selected for and played for Army Womens Rugby
9. SPR Shanelle Hill for her massive effort on the Tarawera Ultra Marathon and SPR Shane Tebbutt for his superb effort on the Revanant Ultra Race
10. CPL Lawrence ‘Bolo’ Erihe for being awarded a Brigade Commanders Commendation.
11. MAJ Kevin Fee for being selected to represent NZ in his age group triathlon in Switzerland later in 2019.
12. LCPL Robin Goomes for winning Queen of the Mountain at Army interregional cycling and SPR Scott for being awarded his Army sports pocket for cycling.
13. SSGT Mata Oltaches-Tagavaitau and CPL Jaxon Tagavaitau for receiving a Brigade Commanders Commendation for being willing to step in and assist a distressed lost child in Palmerston North.
14. Congratulations to CPL Isaac King, SPR Kris Austin, SPR Tim Robinson, SPR Jordan Cavanagh and the recently ‘retired’ from service SPR Corey Beaumont for receiving a Bronze Award from the Manawatu Working Prison, for their efforts in apprehending a throw over suspect.
15. Awards from the most recent BCE course:

a. Sutherland Trophy for the Most Improved Sapper
1 Troop – 33194 Spr C Kamikamica, RFMF
2 Troop – X1056848 Spr T Balderstone
b. Top Academic Student Corps Training RNZE Trophy
1 Troop – V1058985 Spr M Stein
2 Troop – Y1053721 Spr C Edmonds
c. Sutherland Trophy for the Most Outstanding Sapper
1 Troop – M1056838 Spr B Adair
2 Troop – F1058994 Spr L Turnbull

As we look towards the balance of the year, we are hoping that the remaining cyclone and fire season passes without much more incident. The Corps will be kept busy with introduction into service of new equipment, individual training and supporting the Brigade in both EX HAMEL / TALISMAN SABRE in Australia as well as on EX SARI BARI / UBIQUE.

The last quarter has had some relief in terms of tempo in some areas, however the year is just starting to wind in to its normal steady state. We have had a large posting period and have settled well after the inevitable churn in that regard. I am really comfortable that the Corps is standing next to its biggest problems, working to resolve them and continues to demonstrate our strong comradery. In the aftermath of recent events and as things start getting busier, don’t forget to check on your mates, a five minute conversation or coffee to ask ‘how are you doing?’ is worth the effort to make sure our team stays intact. We each have pressures, whether that be at work or home, let’s make sure that we look after each other!

Keep up the good work and don’t forget to follow us on social media to stay updated!

I Nga Wahi Katoa
LTCOL Terry McDonald
Commanding Officer – 2ER, 2ND ENGINEER REGIMENT RNZE
New Zealand Army

 

December 2018

Greetings Sappers of the RNZE,

Season’s greetings to you all, wherever that may be in the world! This is the final quarterly update for 2018 to let you know what has happened during this previous quarter and about what is going to happen across the Corps in the next.  After a busy third quarter, the Corps has continued to maintain a relatively high exercise, exchange, course and deployment tempo. We have continued to have our members deployed to MANAWA (Iraq), MOHUA (Iraq), SUDDEN (South Sudan), TROY (Dubai) and FARAD (Sinai) as well as rotations preparing to go and welcoming home those who have returned. It has seen the conclusion of a concerted exercise period supporting 1 (NZ ) Brigade and TRADOC, as well as delivering instruction at the School of Military Engineering on a range of courses.  We have also continued to provide instructor support to pre deployment training and we continue to deliver leading edge military engineering solutions for NZDF.

In New Zealand, Regiment training has been focused on a deliberate reconstitution post EXERCISE SARI BARI and supporting EXERCISE PHANTOM MAJOR (Combat School) as well as undertaking some smaller training exercises.  This quarter concluded a sustained period of military engineering support to the Land Component that drew elements from across the country to support.   The Regiment also exploited opportunities with the School to conduct additional heavy breaching as well continuing to deliver construction effects for NZDF through the military construction period (MILCON 18.2). Finally, preparations for the 18/19 south west Pacific cyclone season (Plan Pacific Relief) have been completed including the conduct of a Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) Command Post Exercise (CPX) leveraging the new battle management system.
SME successfully delivered the RNZE Senior Combat Engineer Course, the Explosive Method of Entry Course, Basic Fire Course and the Plant Operator Basic Course.  The level of instruction has remained world class and the team now refocus and reset for another busy start to 2019 course loading.

Looking forward, SME have a full course loading early in the new year with RNZE Basic Combat Engineer Course, RNZE Tree Felling, Fire Intermediate Course, Basic Carpentry and Plant Intermediate.  2 Fd Sqn will be supporting the School with both students and instructors as well as preparing to undertake a boating concentration in Burnham while continuing to Introduce into Service (IIS) the new karcher Multipurpose Decontamination System.   3 Fd Sqn are gearing up to lead the Boating concentration on behalf of the Regiment utilising their recent accreditation as an Royal Yachting Association provider.  2 Fd Sqn will be supporting the introduction into service of the new Multi-Purpose Decontamination Station (MPDS) as well as the new small inflatable boats (Zodiac FC530). 25 ESS will continue with MILCON tasks (transition from 18.2 to 19.1) with concluding the new RNZE Military Working Dog facility in the Unit lines, deploying on the Light Engineering Team to Antarctica, supporting the construction of the new Network Enabled Army facility in Linton (Project Pronto) and continuing road maintenance in both Waiouru / Linton.

Other things that you need to be aware of, in no particular order:

2 Engr Regt Achievements – at the Regiment end of year parade there were a number of medals, promotions and awards presented, well done to those recognised. I wanted to congratulate again the following:

  1. CO Leadership Award – CPL Andy Good, 3 Fd Sqn.
  2. RSM Top Soldier Award – CPL Tom Grant, 4ERT.
  3. Colonel Commandant Award (Spousal support) – Mrs Sarah Aitken.
  4. Right of Line Sub Unit – 2 Fd Sqn.

SME(NZ) Achievements – SME(NZ) presented year end awards, well done to the recipients!

  1. CI Leadership Award – SSGT Lockton
  2. TTW Top Instructor – LCPL (now Cpl) Taylor
  3. CEW Top Instructor – SGT Langman
  4. Most Outstanding Apprentice – SPR Craig

Family Day 2018/ 2019 – The delayed family day was moved to coincide with the Linton Camp family day, which was also postponed. The new date for this is 03 February 2019.

EOD Trade – the Chief of Army’s directive that formalises the transition of the EOD trade away from RNZIR to RNZE is signed and with effect 01 Dec 18. Welcome to the Corps EOD, and we look forward to the new EOD staff attending BCE in the new year.

Corps History – You will be aware that the Corps History book is all but starting printing with advanced copies being available from March 2019.  If you don’t have your copy, you can still purchase one! Order forms are spread across the Corps locations.   All currently serving Sappers have their names in the book, with a Corps nominal roll capturing you! We thank all involved with this project, from people providing input, oral histories, photos, book reviews, the author to deliver on behalf of Sappers all.  There are planned two book launches, one to coincide with the Manawatu Military Tattoo (12-13 April) which will occur on 11 April 2019 (1100-1400) which is open to the public and will include a small display.  There will also be a Parliamentary Launch on 08 May 2019 (1800 – 1930) hosted by the Minister of Defence. This will involve sappers from across the Corps, more information to follow. The new website is operating with a whole lot of images, books, updates etc available now showing our history, head along and check it out www.nzsappers.org.nz

Private Public Partnerships – The Corps continues with its private public partnership with DownerNZ we are planning to receive an intern placement rotation starting February 2019. They will be joining our team for 12 weeks at a time and we have agreed to host two as a start, then review or formalise.

New Capability – The forward edge of the capability glacier has landed both within the School and Regiment. The initial Train the Trainer course / activity for the MPDS has been conducted and the equipment for the boating project is being delivered into the Unit. It will continue to present a challenge in terms of training time, however expect a shift as the new equipment comes on board.   The intention to have fit for purpose infrastructure in place before the equipment arrives fully is in play currently and work is occurring in this area.  The most pressing capability issue remains that of Fire, specifically the domestic response and rural fire appliances. This continues being addressed as a matter of urgency by both NZDF and MOD in conjunction with Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ).  More to follow on this in due course.

Corps Shop – there is a new set of Sapper swag available from our Corps Shop, feel free to head to the facebook page and ‘shop now’ to have a look!

Posting Season – The Corps is currently in reset / forming mode with the posting season just having taken effect. For those who have moved, thank you for your work and commitment in your previous role, I look forward to continued interaction in your next! Also welcome to the newest Sappers, both soldiers and officers who have joined the Corps from both The Army Depot and various officer training establishments – welcome and we look forward to serving with you into the future.

There are a few more key things that I believe we should celebrate, in no particular order. This list is not exhaustive and there are plenty more on our Corps social media sites, however the things worthy of individual mention are:
1.      A/SGT Boyce and OFFRCDT Wilson for being awarded their Brigade Commanders Commendations.

  1. Linton Village Green – congratulations to SME(NZ) who placed first and 25 ESS who placed third and won esprit de corps. Nicely done to our photoshoppers and ballerinas!
    3.       CPL Tom Grant who was awarded the NZ Army Soldier of the Year, an awesome achievement!
  2. CPL Chad McDonald who was awarded the Top Instructor Award for AARC 390
  3. CPL Tom Jellyman who was awarded the Top Instructor Award for AARC 391
  4. CAPT Ingrid Gillingham who was awarded an ADF Gold Commendation for her service at the Australian Defence Force Academy
  5. CPL Andy Good for his work in Australia supporting the ANZAC Bus Stop construction and winning the 27km Luxmore Grunt in 1 hr 50 mins.
  6. LT Claire Kirby who won her age group in Ironman 70.3 Taupo which gives her a spot in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Nice, France in 2019, great work!!
  7. Our supporters of ‘Movember’ (not sure about SSGT Inders one though – maybe a bit longer than a month)!
  8. SPR Walker, being awarded the SMA Award on AARC 391
  9. LCPL Broughton for being awarded the Regimental Award on his JNCO Course.
  10. SPR Chris Guy for winning the Top Student, Instructors Choice and Academic Trophy off the last Basic Fire course.
  11. EDD Iris for the arrival of her six new puppies.

This time of year is also a time to reflect on those who are no longer with us in body, but will remain a part of our Corps fabric. The sad passing of Lieutenant Colonel Peter Curran is a reminder of this and when we think of absent friends, I am sure you will also think of him and his family.

As we close 2018, we are prepared for what we hope to be a slow tropical storm season in the Pacific as well as fire season here at home.  All members of the Corps continue to represent themselves, the Army and New Zealand proudly. Sappers of the present continue to build on the foundation stones by our predecessors. 2019 will be another year with a variety of tasks. Whether it is successful deployments, the conduct of training activities as part of MILCON, or the delivery of a lot of new capability, we will continue to demonstrate our agility and flexibility as well as our Corps motto – Ubique.  Our strength remains the sum of our parts, that is each of us performing our roles to the highest professional standards that allow us to achieve.

For those Sappers who are deployed or working over the closedown period, be safe, look after yourselves and know that we will be thinking of you and your families.  For those Sappers taking the opportunity for a leave period, I hope you all have a good Christmas break and enjoy some time with your families or loved ones – it is well deserved.

Keep up the good work and don’t forget to follow us on social media to stay updated! I look forward to serving with you again in the new year.

I Nga Wahi Katoa

LTCOL Terry McDonald
Commanding Officer – 2ER, 2ND ENGINEER REGIMENT, RNZE
New Zealand Army

 

September 2018

Greetings Sappers of the RNZE,

I trust this email finds you well wherever you are in the world! This is the third quarterly update for 2018 to let you know what has happened during this previous quarter and about what is going to happen across the Corps in the next.  After a busy second quarter, the Corps has continued to maintain a relatively high exercise, exchange, course and deployment tempo. We have continued to have our members deployed to MANAWA (Iraq), MOHUA (Iraq), SUDDEN (South Sudan), TROY (Dubai) and FARAD (Sinai) as well as rotations preparing to go. Our Emergency Responders participated in OP VULCAN and OP MAPLE VULCAN, both the United States and Canada respectively providing a rural response as part of a wider Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) deployment.  We have continued to provide instructor support to pre deployment training and we continue to deliver leading edge military engineering solutions for NZDF.

In New Zealand, training has transitioned from largely individually focused soldier and sappers skills to collective.  To facilitate this switch of focus, the quarter has seen all sub units of the Regiment and wider Corps participating in Corps week and Corps sports, including our Regimental 25th birthday. A spirited competition across multiple codes that enabled a shift of focus prior to gearing up for the collective training period.  Through this period was also the Sappers Ball in Palmerston North, a great event that was well organised by the committee with great music (provided by a Sapper band) and thoroughly enjoyed by those that attended. The Regiment was also Duty Unit for the Brigade which saw members being sent across the country to perform a number of ceremonial duties.

SME is successfully delivering or delivered the RNZE Section Commanders Course, the Intermediate Fire Course, RNZE Demolitions RCO and is currently delivering the RNZE Carpentry Intermediate. RNZE also completed the Explosive Detection Dog course, integrating new handlers and dogs into the emerging Counter Explosive Hazards capability. 3 Fd Sqn have capitalised on their small boat work becoming an accredited RYA service provider, they have participated in EX PACIFIC KUKURI (Tekapo / Gurkha Unit), EX SARI BAIR 18 (Waiouru) and completed an Annual Weapons Qualification.   2 Fd Sqn has reconstituted post EX ARRAS 18 to prepare and hone their collective engineer skills before stepping into the combined arms training of SARI BARI 18 / EX UBIQUE 18. They are have just redeployed from Waiouru supporting 1 (NZ) Brigade, forming the basis of Task Unit HOLDFAST (TU HOLDFAST) providing engineer support to live firing combat teams and completing assessed engineer specific tasks on the EX UBIQUE component. EX UBIQUE assessed three primary areas, obstacle emplacement, MGB construction and combined arms live fire breaching. The team achieved their missions and while the AAR is yet to occur, there was learning at all levels which was great to see. TU HOLDFAST remains engaged with EX SARI BARI for another week, while its main body reconstitutes. Of interest, EX UBIQUE 18 deployed the first NEA digitised classified SHQ, which provided a classified digital rear link to RHQ main (Linton based). It was really pleasing to see our connectivity and C2 systems being exercised, there will be more to come on that in the future. 2 Fd Sqn have also welcomed into the unit the first EOD team from Special Operations that will be a key enabler to the Counter Explosives Hazards capability.  25 ESS has completed trade compliance, Annual Weapons Qualifications and is now stepping into the Military Construction (MILCON) period until years end. There are 15 projects planned to be conducted during the construction season that achieve a tangible benefit for the supported organisations (such as NZDF) but also achieve training outcomes within a tactical environment (such as on EX UBIQUE 18).

Looking forward, SME have a full course loading towards the end of the year with RNZE Basic Plant Operators, RNZE Combat Engineer Senior and RNZE Explosive Method of Entry Courses.  3 Fd Sqn are gearing up to participate in EX PHANTOM MAJOR (Combat School support in Waiouru) and continuing to hone their Live Field Firing skills.  2 Fd Sqn will be supporting the introduction into service of the new Multi-Purpose Decontamination Station (MPDS) as well as the new small inflatable boats. 25 ESS will complete MILCON and undertake preparations for HADR Task Unit lead for any Plan Pacific Relief activation during the 18/19 cyclone season.

Other things that you need to be aware of, in no particular order:

Sappers Day 2018 – Sappers Day 2018 falls on a Monday this year. The Regiment is planning a parade to mark the event for promotions and the awarding of medals.  There will be more details through both the chain of command and via our facebook page as an event.

Family Day 2018 – The delayed family day is likely to occur in late November 2018. There will be more details coming as we get closer to the time.

2018 NZ Army Innovation Award – 2 Engineer Regiment was recently presented the award for the most innovative unit in the 2018 NZ Army Innovation Challenge. The judging criteria was based on idea generation through fostering innovation, innovation culture both command led and soldier focussed, as well as implementation. The award identifies that at all levels within the Regiment, Sappers have successfully focussed on an improvement- driven innovation cultures. The award was physically presented to the RSM by the Deputy Chief of Army.

Te Auraki – Sappers supported the NZDF Operation Te Auraki, the repatriation of servicemen who were interred overseas. RNZE has a single member bought home, SPR Waitawhiti Toni who was reinterred at Torere Marae, approx 25km east of Opotiki in the Bay of Plenty. The community really welcomed the team and it was a privilege for serving Sappers to be a part of.

SME(AS) Attachment – Recently the Regiment deployed two SNCO to the School of Military Engineering (Australia) to support the ROBC summative exercise, EX KOKODA. They were seconded to the course in the role of Reconnaissance Sergeants to provide a testing environment for them and start developing a SNCO cohort with RAE. They represented the Corps well with positive feedback from SME(AS) staff as well as our SNCO enjoying the experience. This is something that I am keen to continue, leaning in to exploit training opportunities where we can. It also confirmed for senior leadership within the Corps that our Section Commanders course is not producing the same training outcomes as the old Intermediate Combat Engineer course, something that we are now looking to address.  We continue to seek other course opportunities that we are working on with route clearance commanders, section commanders and RAE Reserve ROBC. There will be more to follow in due course.

Inter-Corps Sports – The RNZE team competed in the Skudder Cup competition as part of the wider NZ Army Corps Rugby. Two great games were played, however ultimately RNZE lost to the RNZIR Corps Team 21-17. I would like to acknowledge and thank the team that worked hard to represent us on the field, you played well and lived the Sapper ethos! We are looking forward to next year! At the same time as the rugby was being played, the RNZE Football team were also competing against an RNZIR team – we did triumph in this code winning 5-2! Great work to all involved in the sappers sports codes.

Quarry Responsibility Handover – RNZE has now transitioned the responsibility of Waiouru / NZDF Quarries away from the Regiment and into Defence Estate and Infrastructure. DEI continue to explore the contracting out road maintenance in Waiouru. It is still unclear how this will impact RNZE, however I am confident we will retain the Waiouru Plant Detachment and continue to work on the roading assets in Waiouru. This is not the first time this has been explored as an option, and again, more to follow as this progresses.

EOD Trade – the Chief of Army’s directive to formalise the transition of the EOD trade away from RNZIR to RNZE is in draft and with Army General Staff.  The proposed date for this to occur is 15 October 2018, to coincide with Sappers Day.  In short, the trade will be RNZE and new arrivals into the EOD Trade will complete BCE, however the trade will be managed (day to day and Career) through Regimental Colonel Special Operations. We welcome EOD back to the Sapper fold and look forward to greater engagement, particularly as an Expeditionary Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EEOD) Team has arrived into the Unit.

Corps History Book – You will be aware that the Corps History is nearing its final approach, after a considerable period of time, to completion. The final edit has been completed and it is due to go to print in October 2018.   There remains a limited window, discounted offer, for the books that can be paid for online through bank transfer of $50 per book for serving, $60 for non-RNZE serving or retired personnel and an normal recommended retail price of $69.99 (plus postage and handling).  This is due to end on 28 September (this Friday).  There are posters and online advertising for this, I would encourage you to get a copy. All currently serving Sappers have their names in the book, with a Corps nominal roll capturing you! We thank all involved with this project, from people providing input, oral histories, photos, book reviews, the author to deliver on behalf of Sappers all.

Private Public Partnerships – The Corps continues with its private public partnership with DownerNZ and is continuing to get placements in the Manawatu region to make it more local, enabling more opportunities to be taken without the travel / cost overhead. This continues to be championed by OC 25 ESS and the RSM.

New Capability – in the next few months the forward edge of the capability glacier is starting to land both within the School and Regiment. The vanguard of this delivery will be the MPDS, followed in quick succession by small boats and reverse osmosis. This presents a challenge in terms of training time, however expect a shift as the new equipment comes on board.  There is also considerable work occurring to land pre-emptive (in some cases) infrastructure for these projects. The intention is to ensure that we have fit for purpose infrastructure in place and generate capital works for 25 ESS / SME to leverage. The most pressing capability issue currently is that of Fire, specifically the domestic response and rural fire appliances. This is being addressed as a matter of urgency by both NZDF and MOD in conjunction with Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ).  More to follow on this in due course.

2 Engr Regt structure changes – there has been an adjustment to a number of posts within the Regiment, particularly related to RHQ, ERS and 3 Fd Sqn. DCA recently approved the establishment of the SSM position at 3 Fd Sqn which will enable the formation of the sub unit HQ complete. This was created with a change around in two other posts, ERS SSM and TWO. In line with the REM17 review, there is a strong desire for all trades to generate breadth with each equally being given the opportunity to be sub unit SSM. While there is general alignment with sub units and trades (25 ESS – indentured, 2 Fd Sqn – Combat Engineer) this does not always occur and a diversity of trades within sub units further reinforces that we are the sum of our parts. As such, the SSM 3 Fd Sqn will be generally aligned with the Emergency Response trade, the TWO post (all trades) has been upgraded to WO1. I have also created a Fire Troop Commander position (3 Fd Sqn aligned however Linton based) that will work with Fire Masters as we seek to support the staff work with new fire appliances.

All of the events are open to non-serving sappers and personnel outside of the immediate Unit / School environment. If you would like to be involved or participate in any way, please let us know.

There are a few more key things that I believe we should celebrate, in no particular order. This list is not exhaustive and there are plenty more on our Corps social media sites, however the things worthy of individual mention are:

  1. LCPL Tawhara, 2 Engr Regt who along with EDD Iris won the Explosive Detection Dog national competition recently. SPR Broderick and EDD Bok came fourth in the same competition. Well done!
    2.       OP VULCAN and OP MAPLE VULCAN teams – at little or no notice nine emergency responders deployed to both the United States and Canada for four weeks. The original deployment for our JNCO was as crew leaders, running teams of 10-15 fire fighters, they were promoted (based on skill and qualification) to Task Force Leader’s running 5-6 teams of 10-15. This is no small achievement! Well done to all who deployed and your families, you did extremely well in trying conditions!
  2. LCPL Andrew Good (3 FD SQN GS Sect Comd, Carp) raced in the Canterbury regional champs in the 10km race in mid August, and won gold in a strong field. He was selected to represent the Canterbury region at the national champs in Hamilton where he also performed well.
  3. LT Katherine Lambert, RE who is attached to 2 Engineer Regiment until Nov 18 as part of Exercise Long Look. Welcome aboard!
  4. CPL Hippolite – Congratulations for being top student on the RNZE Section Commanders course, well done!
  5. LCPL Phillip Paynter-Muller (3 FD SQN) who was awarded the 1(NZ) Bde H&S Award for the month of August.

As we look towards the end of the year and into next, we are hoping for a quiet cyclone season for the South Pacific, however events unfolding in the last few weeks in both the Philippines and the United States may demonstrate what we have to look forward to. We are preparing for a long fire season and the impact that will have on our Emergency Responders as well as training in general.  Course tempo will remain high, however our adjusted training model should start to provide some relief.

The last quarter has had some relief in terms of tempo in some areas, that we achieved EX UBIQUE 18 is thanks to the hard work of all involved, particularly within the RHQ and TU HQ, but across every level – the Corps continues to deliver and address some of our latent skills.  As we head towards the final push for 2018, I still very much encourage you all to make the most of the time you have to take leave during block leave periods and when you can, get your leave balances down. We are also fast closing in on posting season which will see a considerable amount of movement within the Corps – as we prepare for handovers / takeovers lets make sure our personnel reporting is sorted and we are handing over reporting in a good state.  I mentioned it in the last update, but it is worthy of reinforcement, I would ask you all to check on your mates, a five minute conversation or coffee to ask ‘how are you doing?’ is worth the effort to make sure our team stays intact. We each have pressures, whether that be at work or home, let’s make sure that we look after each other!

Keep up the good work and don’t forget to follow us on social media to stay updated!

I Nga Wahi Katoa

LTCOL Terry McDonald
Commanding Officer – 2ER, 2ND ENGINEER REGIMENT, RNZE
New Zealand Army

 

June 2018

Greetings Sappers of the RNZE,

This is the second quarterly update for 2018 and again you will not be surprised, it is a long update as there is a lot going on across the Corps at the moment.  RNZE have continued to sustain its deployments, individual training and build up for collective training.  The Corps effectively deployed the Regiment in May 2018, with personnel across 12 different activities off shore in eight different countries (excluding postings).  While this exercise, exchange, course and deployment tempo was met we have continued to have our members deployed to MANAWA (Iraq), MOHUA (Iraq), SUDDEN (South Sudan), TROY (Dubai) and FARAD (Sinai) as well as rotations preparing to go. Throughout the high activity period, it has been really pleasing to see the calibre of our Sappers, remaining leading edge and delivering military engineering solutions for NZDF – we continue to build upon our strong reputation as a Unit and Corps that delivers results.

Back home in New Zealand training has been largely focused on the soldier and sappers skills.  The Regiment has now fully transitioned from IW-Steyr to MARS-L and from Sig Sauer to Glock.  SME is successfully delivering or delivered the Basic Carpenter Course, Intermediate Plant Course, the Engineer Reconnaissance Sergeants Course and the first of the hazardous tree felling course, a requirement under the new Combat Engineer trade model.  3 Fd Sqn has done a considerable amount of work on small boats, with support from 2 Fd Sqn to prepare and successfully execute EX TROPIC MAJOR 2018 (VANUATU) and EX CROIX DU SUD 18 (NEW CALEDONIA).  This achieved RNZE OLOC for small boating, working off HMNZS Canterbury delivering both conventional and non-conventional troops ashore by day and night. It tested the revamped safety system surrounding RNZE small boating and it met all objectives.  The team put a considerable amount of effort into this and it paid considerable dividend with feedback from the CO of HMNZS CAN congratulating the Sappers on their approach, integration and professionalism.  2 Fd Sqn has been building on their section training and deployed in May 18 (with the balance of 2 Engr Regt) on EX ARRAS 2018, to do their sub unit build up prior to EX SARI BAIR / EX UBIQUE 18.  The exercise linked in with other Brigade force elements and provided the normal hospitable weather conditions in Zone One, in winter. The team met their training objectives and will now join with the Brigade on SARI BAIR ready to go. 2 Fd Sqn also deployed its High Readiness section in support of 1 RNZIR into EX CROIX DU SUD which was good to get that team away. 25 ESS has successfully completed EX TROPIC TWILIGHT 18 (VANUATU), not without its challenges, however the team worked extremely hard to meet the timelines and were ultimately successful.  It is noteworthy that this activity deployed steel frames to prove the FrameCAD experiment and it proved successful.  The Corps also deployed a Mutual Assistance Training Team (MATT) to TONGA, exporting elements of the Task Managers to HMAF.  Instructors for this training came from both RHQ and SME(NZ); it was very successful and gratefully received by the students.  The Unit has also undertaken planning for, although not executed, support to New Zealand based civil defence emergency on the East Coast and options for Rural Fire Support to allied countries.

Currently the Regiment is taking a tactical pause and over the next week will celebrate Corps Week 2018. Commencing with the 25th Birthday Parade on 01 Jul 18 for 2 Engr Regt, followed by Corps Sports Week which includes the Corps Conference and concluded with the Sappers Ball on 07 Jul 18.  All events are open to serving and retired Sappers alike.

Looking forward, post Corps Week, the Regiment will be gearing up to support multiple events / activities across the country.  The Corps is preparing to support TE AURAKI (Fallen Repatriation) and in August the Regiment is duty unit for 1 (NZ) Brigade which is shaping up to be busier than our last duty period. The next quarter will be largely dominated by the preparation for and execution of EX SARI BAIR / EX UBIQUE 18 in Sept, including an AWQ.  We will also be supporting SME(NZ) with both students and instructors for the RNZE Section Commanders Course, EDD Handlers Course, Plant Supervisors, Fire Intermediate and a myriad of other activities.  Finally, the planning and preparation for MILCON 18.2 will be finalised to allow our trade capability bricks to deliver a construction effect to the NZDF.

Other things that you need to be aware of, in no particular order:

Regiment Birthday – As you are aware, the Regiment is celebrating its 25th birthday in 2018. It falls on a Sunday, however due to the forecasted weather we will continue with a parade to mark the event, but will postpone the Family Day component until Sappers Day 2018.

Corps Sports – Following the engagement of Corps Sports 2017, the 2018 sports will be conducted with the same format. The programme is out, if you have any questions, please direct them to your sub unit HQ.

Corps Conference – It is intended that Corps Conference is conducted on the Thursday (rest day) of the Corps Sports week. Invitations and the programme have been released.

Sappers Ball – The Ball will occur on Saturday 07 July 18, in Palmerston North. It will also be the prize giving for the Corps Sports.  The committee has done really well in organising the ball, including the fundraising, and it is shaping to be an excellent evening.  I look forward to seeing you all there.

Corps Shop – the Corps shop continues to run on TradeMe as well as a physical store at 2 Engr Regt. Should you want to see the items as they get added follow rnze_corps_shop as a store! We are expecting more clothing to come into stock with our suppliers in the next few weeks. Remember, all purchases through the Corps Shop bring money into the Corps Fund that supports our Sappers. It is sending care packages to deployed Sappers, supporting sapper initiatives (such as the Sappers Ball), however without revenue it won’t be for long.

Training Model – I am trying to slow down training / planning tempo within the sub units and am using the FY 18/19 budget as a tool to support this. You will start noticing a slowdown in activities being organised by SHQ, with squadrons being provided the lead for a three month training block and other sub units reinforcing them. The intention here is to provide HQ elements the space to plan, organise and execute good training and provide greater focus to the ‘back of house’ business. The training is linked to Core Sapper Skills with the METL / training tasks identified in the Regt Comd Directive. Know it is happening and we are trying something different to see if we get better results.

SME(AS) Visit – Recently the RSM and I had the opportunity to participate in both the Combat Officers Advanced Course (COAC) summative exercise with three RNZE students and then visit the four RNZE ROBC students in Sydney. It is good to see our COAC students successfully home and look forward to our ROBC officers returning.  While we were at SME(AS) we were superbly hosted and had an opportunity to discuss options for working closer together. We have strong links with RAE via ROBC and COAC, however at the SNCO level we do not. I am now working to secure instructor support positions for Jul 18 to the ROBC summative exercise, sending RNZE SNCO on the course to assist and provide advice to the students. There are also course opportunities that we are working on with route clearance commanders, section commanders and RAE Reserve ROBC. There will be more to follow in due course.

Quarry Responsibility Handover – RNZE is currently transitioning the responsibility of Waiouru / NZDF Quarries away from the Regiment and into Defence Estate and Infrastructure. There are interim plans / activities in place currently to enable this, and it is anticipated the handover will be complete by the end of Jul 18. This does not mean we are ceasing training in the Waiouru quarries, rather we will book the quarries as any other training zone with the requisite qualifications to work within it. At the conclusion of our training, we will hand responsibility back to WMTF and DEI.  There are also courses of action being explored by DEI to contract out road maint in Waiouru. It is unclear how this will impact RNZE, however I am confident we will retain the Waiouru Plant Detachment and continue to work on the roading assets in Waiouru. This is not the first time this has been explored as an option, and again, more to follow as this progresses.

EOD Trade – You may be away that recently the Chief of Army has directed that the OR trade of EOD will transition from RNZIR to RNZE. I am unsure of the specific date that this will occur, however it will be relatively seamless to the Corps. In short, the trade will be RNZE and new arrivals into the EOD Trade will complete BCE, however the trade will be managed (day to day and Career) through Regimental Colonel Special Operations. We welcome EOD back to the Sapper fold and look forward to greater engagement, particularly as an Expeditionary Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EEOD) Team arrives into the Unit in August 2018.

Corps History Book – You will be aware that the Corps History is nearing its final approach, after a considerable period of time, to completion. The final edit is currently underway and it will be with the publishers for printing on 31 Jul 18, for release in early 2019. As part of that there will be the ability for Sappers (both serving and retired) to pre-order books commencing in the next few weeks. There will be a limited window, discounted offer, for the books that can be paid for online through bank transfer of $50 per book and an normal recommended retail price of $60.  You will see posters and online advertising for this, I would encourage you to get a copy. All currently serving Sappers have their names in the book, with a Corps nominal roll capturing you! We thank all involved with this project, from people providing input, oral histories, photos, book reviews, the author to deliver on behalf of Sappers all.

Private Public Partnerships – The Corps continues with its private public partnership with DownerNZ and has recently engaged in the Manawatu region to get more local placements, enabling more opportunities to be taken without the travel / cost overhead. We have also been looking at opportunities with Fulton Hogan, likely in the Auckland region to give experience to our supervisor / planner level of expertise. This continues to be championed by OC 25 ESS and the RSM.

All of the events are open to non-serving sappers and personnel outside of the immediate Unit / School environment. If you would like to be involved or participate in any way, please let us know.

There are a few more key things that I believe we should celebrate, in no particular order. This list is not exhaustive and there are plenty more on our Corps social media sites, however the things worthy of individual mention are:

  1. MAJ Gabby Gofton, 2 Engr Regt who has been advised that she will be presented the Distinguished Service Decoration through the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2018 for her actions on OP FARAD. Congratulations and well deserved.
  2. MAJ Jono Meldrum. 2 Engr Regt who was presented his Meritorious Service Medal for actions on OP SUDDEN, well done!
  3. SPR Petra Dye-Hutchinson for making the Lion’s Den during the Fire Combat Challenge Nationals,
  4. SPR Petra Dye-Hutchinson, SPR Aidan Grant and SPR Tom Grant for being selected to attend the Scott Fire Fighter Combat Challenge World Championships in Sacramento in October. This is a great feat and first time we have been invited to participate in the United States competition
  5. LCPL Thompson deployed as part of the MCG to France and Belgium. LCPL Thompson lead the Taua to bring the guests onto each ceremony which was great. He truly owned his role and was a master in its delivery.  Also of note, was his exemplary reading in the Arras Tunnel service to honour the kiwi engineers who made that incredible space. Well done.
  6. SPR Bridge, 3 Fd Sqn – while supporting the visit of the Commander US Army of the Pacific was a first arrival on the scene of an accident. In rush hour traffic he, and another service member, gave initial first aid to the people involved and on arrival of medical support took control of the traffic. His initiative keep the site save and traffic moving, preventing major delays until police arrived.
  7. SPR Maaka had a tree planted on Sappers Lines to commemorate a year since his passing, thank you to his family and all of those involved for making that occasion memorable for the Corps.
  8. Welcome to the fold Ms Janine Bevege, who is now working in the RHQ, she is making a considerable impact already! I would also like to make a special mention of Ms Natacha Cameron, the Linton Social Worker who is doing a lot of work around the Camp, including with Sappers. To you both, welcome on board!
  9. I would also like to welcome back MAJ Joe Totoro, recently returned from operations and now in the role of OC 25 ESS.

As we look beyond September period we are starting to look towards the MILCON period and preparing for Cyclone season in the South Pacific. Course tempo will remain high, however our training model should start to provide some relief.

The last quarter has been particularly busy, deliberately so, and while at times it placed considerable pressures on parts of our organisation, the Corps delivered.  I know that it was a high price at times, however we have reinforced to ourselves that we can meet multiple and diverse demands. You should all be proud of our achievements in this regard.  I still very much encourage you all to make the most of the time you have to take leave during block leave periods and when you can, get your leave balances down. I mentioned it in the last update, but it is worthy of reinforcement, I would ask you all to check on your mates, a five minute conversation or coffee to ask ‘how are you doing’ is worth the effort to make sure our team stays intact. We each have pressures, whether that be at work or home, let’s make sure that we look after each other!

Keep up the good work and don’t forget to follow us on social media to stay updated!

I Nga Wahi Katoa

LTCOL Terry McDonald
Commanding Officer – 2ER, 2ND ENGINEER REGIMENT, RNZE
New Zealand Army

 

March 2018

Greetings Sappers,

The first quarterly update for 2018, you will not be surprised, is full as there is a lot going on across the Corps at the moment.  As with every year we have ramped up pretty quickly, with an early focus on deployments, individual training and build up collective training.  We have recovered our personnel who deployed to ANTARCTICA for the Light Engineer Team, and our Plant Operator support to ANTARCTICA NEW ZEALAND.  We have continued to have our members deployed to MANAWA (Iraq), SUDDEN (South Sudan) and FARAD (Sinai) as well as rotations preparing to go. We have also got personnel either away or about to head off on overseas exercises and training, an example is LCPL Hynes and ‘Chuck’ the EDD currently on ANZAC EXCHANGE with 2 CER in Brisbane, however he is now supporting the ADF to deliver their Commonwealth Games support. There has been a fair amount of work conducted in preparation for a multitude of events in April / May, more to follow on that.

Back home in New Zealand training has been varied.  SME have successfully completed the Basic Combat Engineer Course, the Basic Fire Course is currently underway, as is the EOC and the myriad of other activities they conduct.  3 Fd Sqn has done a considerable amount of work on small boats, with support from 2 Fd Sqn to prepare for Ex Tropic Major.  2 Fd Sqn has been completing section training with a focus on demolitions, search, medical and weapons. 25 ESS has completed MILCON with support tasks being varied from Dome Hut being removed from Mt Ruapeheu, some work in support of DEI locally and supporting social housing construction in Palmerston North. They have also supported the final evolution of the Pacific Island Country Plant Training, with two RFMF plant operators attending.  The Unit also mobilised for Tropical Cyclone GITA support, while it was not needed in the end, it proved to be a useful activity to bring the components of the Brigade (and Unit) together. We also competed in the 1 (NZ) Bde Skill At Arms competition, and the team did a great job in trying conditions!

The Regiment is now gearing up to support multiple events / activities across the country and South Pacific.  Exercise Tropic Major (Vanuatu) will be occurring in late April / early May and will involve a number of elements such as HMNZS CANTERBURY, elements of the RNZAF and infantry from 2/1 RNZIR. 3 Fd Sqn will be deploying in support of this activity (with round out from 2 Fd Sqn) which will see which will see a Troop (+) of RNZE boats lifting infantry into various parts of Epi Island.  This activity is the culmination of a considerable amount of build up work and will confirm DLOC for small boats. It has taken a considerable effort to get to this point and I believe the benefit, particularly with Seaworthiness, will be tangible.  The exercise series then moves into Exercise Croix du Sud (New Caledonia) which will see elements of 2 Fd Sqn (with 3 Fd Sqn also still on station) to support the deployment of the HR Task Unit.  While this activity is being undertaken Exercise Tropic Twilight (Vanuatu) will be occurring in late April / May and will be constructing three buildings for the Ministry of Health in Port Vila.  It is also likely that a Mutual Assistance Training Team (MATT) will deploy to TONGA over the same period to deliver a ‘Task Managers’ lite course, though the detail for this is still being worked through.  There have been a number of other requests that have come through for overseas opportunities, however we have reached saturation point for the moment.

Other things that you need to be aware of, in no particular order:

Regiment Birthday – If you weren’t aware, the Regiment is celebrating its 25th birthday in 2018. It falls on a Sunday, however the plan is to conduct a family day event and medals parade to mark the event. There will be more to follow on this in due course.

Corps Sports – Following the engagement of Corps Sports 2017, the intention is to conduct 2018 with the same format. Game play will be Monday/ Tuesday and Thursday / Friday with a rest day on the Wednesday.  There will be more details to follow in due course.

Corps Conference – It is intended that Corps Conference is conducted on the Wednesday (rest day) of the Corps Sports week. It will have focus on updating rather than providing a problem for Corps consideration.

Sappers Ball – The Ball will occur on Saturday 07 July 18, in Palmerston North. It will also be the prize giving for the Corps Sports.  This is your ball, as such, the will be a committee formed and charged with planning the event. If you are wanting to be involved, please link in with your SHQ to register your interest.

Sapper Maaka Anniversary – There will be a commemorative service conducted in Linton (Sappers Lines) with a tree planting ceremony on 18 April 2018. This is to add James to our Corps memorial site with our other fallen Sappers.

MARS-L Transition – The Regiment will be completing AWQ activity in both April and August to qualify those who haven’t already on the MARS-L, if you need to qualify there are limited spots!

New Capability – If you were not yet aware, there is a considerable amount of new / rolling capability refresh coming into the Corps in the next 12-24 months. Not an exhaustive list however, additional Reverse Osmosis equipment (including a water packaging plant), Multipurpose Decon Station, CBRN PPE, additional EDD for CEH, Zodiac 530’s to replace the 470’s. This all comes with an expense in terms of time, however we have programmed in specific training windows to integrate at the user level this overhead. There will be more to follow in terms of when and how this will occur.

Corps Shop – the Corps shop is now running on TradeMe as well as a physical store at 2 Engr Regt. Should you want to see the items as they get added follow rnze_corps_shop as a store, you might get a deal!

All of the events are open to non-serving sappers and personnel outside of the immediate Unit / School environment. If you would like to be involved or participate in any way, please let us know.

There are a few more key points that I believe we should celebrate, in no particular order:

  1. SPR Robin Goomes,25 ESS who placed 1st at the International Enduro Challenger at the renowned Crankworx in Rotorua.
  2. CPL Jesse Elms, 2 Engr Regt Wksps who was recognised with a Bde Comd commendation for his efforts in rescuing a member of the public in distress.
  3. CPL Richie Knight, 25 ESS who presented to the 1 Bde JNCO Development forum. He gave his well considered thoughts on leadership to a group of his peers and senior leaders, well done!
  4. Welcome to the fold CHAPCL4 Tony Brooking, the new Regimental Chaplain. He has recently joined NZ Army and his first posting is to RNZE.

As we look beyond April / May period we are starting to look towards the collective training period, with Exercise ARRAS (with other elements of the Bde), then Ex SARI BARI that will double as EX UBIQUE 18.  Our collective and combined training periods are shorter this year, but important none the less. The focus will be on getting the basics right.

As always, across New Zealand and the globe delivering engineering solutions – this is going to increase in the next few months, and is only to be expected, and part of our normal battle rhythm.  It will be impacting our families and us as individuals. I encourage you all to make the most of the time you have to take leave when you can and get your leave balances down. The pacific has a few weeks left of cyclone season, so an activation cannot be discounted, stay vigilant and make sure you are ready to go.  Finally, I would ask you all to check on your mates, a five minute conversation or coffee to ask ‘how are you doing’ is worth the effort to make sure our team stays intact. We each have pressures, whether that be at work or home, let’s make sure that we look after each other.

Keep up the good work!

I Nga Wahi Katoa

LTCOL Terry McDonald
Commanding Officer – 2ER, 2ND ENGINEER REGIMENT, RNZE
New Zealand Army

 

December 2017

Sappers of the RNZE,

It has been another busy year for the Corps with deployments and training activities, both at home and abroad, supporting both Army and the wider NZDF.  As you read this Sappers continue to serve around the world and are representing themselves, the Corps and you extremely well.

Some of the Major events for the year for the Corps have been the support to expeditionary operations, OP MANAWA (Iraq), OP TROY (Middle East), OP FARAD (Sinai), OP FARAD SURGE (Sinai), OP ANT LET (Antarctica) as well as domestic deployments such as OP VULCAN (Hawkes Bay and Canterbury).  We have continued to support expeditionary exercises and training events such as OP CASTOR (Vanuatu) and EX TALISMAN SABRE 17 (Australia).  Last, but definitely not least, there were some big domestic training evolutions supported, EX UBIQUE 17 was conducted, the first in a considerable period of time, EX SOUTHERN KATIPO 17 recently concluded with over 3000 multinational troops deployed into the top of the South Island as well as many other standing exercise support tasks that we perennially meet.

There have been some other major achievements within the wider Corps through the year as well. The REM17 review was completed which saw basic REM increases across RNZE trades, with the exception of the indentured trades, which will be looked at in greater detail in 2018 for specific rank brackets. There continues to be gains made, albeit slowly, with Seaworthiness and the adoption of the Combat Engineer trade model. These achievements are significant and the hard work undertaken by many members on these projects is congratulated.

I would like to also congratulate those who have been recently recognised for operational deployments through the awarding of medals, promotions, completing apprenticeships, long service and a myriad of other awards. In particular to the nominations from across the Regiment and sub-units for the RSM and CO’s awards. There was strong competition from all sub-units across the country which serves to demonstrate the high calibre of personnel who wear the Sappers belt! I would also like to specifically mention those who have been recognised through commendations; WO2 Matt Doyle, SGT Dan Klaassen and A/SGT Richard Hughes received a Chief of Army Commendation and MAJ Chris Wilson was awarded the NZDF Commendation.

This time of year is also a time to reflect on those who are no longer with us in body, but will remain a part of our Corps fabric. The sad passing of Sapper James Maaka is a reminder of this and when we think of absent friends, I am sure you will also think of him and his family.

As we close 2017, we are prepared for what is looking to be a busy tropical storm season in the Pacific as well as fire season here at home.  We are preparing early in 2018 to send our next contingent to OP ANT LET and we have members currently deployed to the Sinai, Iraq, Sudan and Antarctica. Members of the Corps continue to represent themselves, the Army and New Zealand proudly. Sappers of the present continue to build on the foundation stones by our predecessors.

2018 will be another year with a variety of tasks. Whether it is successful deployments, the conduct of training activities as part of MILCON or EX TROPIC MAJOR 18 and EX TROPIC TWILIGHT 18, or the delivery of a lot of new capability, we will continue to demonstrate our agility and flexibility as well as our Corps motto – Ubique.  Our strength remains the sum of our parts, that is each of us performing our roles to the highest professional standards that allow us to achieve.

For those Sappers who are deployed or working over the closedown period, be safe, look after yourselves and know that we will be thinking of you and your families.  For those Sappers taking the opportunity for a leave period, I hope you all have a good Christmas break and enjoy some time with your families or loved ones – it is well deserved.

I look forward to serving with you again in the new year.

I Nga Wahi Katoa

Lieutenant Colonel Terry McDonald

Commanding Officer, 2 Engine

 

October 2017

Greetings Sappers,

I cannot believe that another quarter has passed so quickly, our collective and combined arms training period has meant that we have been keep pretty busy across the Corps with a number of significant events occurring.

The last quarter has seen a number of our members deployed to IRAQ, TROY (Middle East), SUDDEN (South Sudan) and FARAD (Sinai) as well as preparing to deploy to IRAQ and FARAD as part of the standing rotation cycle. We have just deployed personnel to ANTARTICA as part of the standing commitment while our recon for the Light Engineer Team (LET) is preparing to leave in the next few weeks. We have also had a successful overseas exercise and training period with the team deploying on EX TALISMAN SABRE 17 doing great work with 3 CER, recons undertaken to VANUATU in anticipation of EX TROPIC TWILIGHT 18 and training evolutions such as the Dog Handler training in HAWAII.

Back home in New Zealand training has been varied.  We had broad participation in Corps Sports, it was another successful competition and the programme with the Barbarians provided some real challenges and depth to the competition. The success of this model will likely see it be adopted again next year. The balance of the training centred around the reinvigoration of EX UBIQUE 17, which provided a Regiment planned and evaluated deployment of a Composite sub-unit. The exercise went through a full mobilisation, short field exercise in both SANTOFT FOREST and WAIOURU before redeploying to LINTON and undertaking a deliberate refurbishment.  From the perspective of getting the Engineer capability bricks fielded and to understand where we are with conventional operations the activity was a success. It was great to be able to get around the exercise to see most people and get us ‘certified’ to a level, we now know our focus areas for the coming training calendar.  We have also undertaken a number of other sub unit training events, one of which was the support to Downer NZ, one of our key partners such as Downer NZ, building a bailey bridge in the South Island, there are more opportunities like this that will be coming up.

The Regiment is now gearing up to support multiple events / activities across the country.  The primary support task is being led by 3 Fd Sqn on EX SOUTHERN KATIPO 17 which will see engineers moving back into KAIKOURA and across to WESTPORT in support of manoeuvre elements. 25 ESS has just concluded EX RANGITIRATANGA, a leadership development activity as it also commences MILCON 2 CY 2017 which is completing a number of planned maintenance tasks in LINTON and WAIOURU, supporting a social housing project in PALMERSTON NORTH as well as conducting recon tasks in support of MILCON early in the new year, in particular for the Department of Conservation.  2 Fd Sqn has a number of support tasks to Combat School (EX PHANTOM MAJOR) and Army Command School (EX SANTICI) as well as undertaking some of its own training, including Army Reserve training.

As I am sure you are aware the Corps Rugby team did extremely well during the Inter Corps Rugby Competition, winning the tournament overall and the George Skudder Cup. A number of our players were also selected for both Army and Defence Rugby. Congratulations to the team and everyone involved, it was great to see and you represented us well!

In terms of Sapper history support, the Corps History project is continuing and is making progress.  It was good to get the Corps Historian on site during EX UBIQUE 17, it was good to see the support you provided him and the willingness you had to engage with him. I would also encourage you to contribute, if you aren’t already, into the RNZE Corps Trust I have attached a donation form should you wish to.

Other things that you need to be aware of:

  1. The Trade Models that were mentioned in the last update have now been approved through Army governance. This has been the result of efforts from across the Corps and has set us up well for the future. We will continue with work on reviewing the Army Reserve Model for both soldiers and officers to provide a greater level of transparency and fidelity to our team.
  1. Sappers Day 2017 – We are preparing for Sappers Day 2017, which falls on a Sunday this year. We are planning to have a formal component at the 2 Engineer Regiment lines at 1000, recognising individual service with the presentation of medals followed by a family day event that will conclude at 1500. There will be static displays, events for the kids and a chance to show those who support us some of the equipment and capabilities that we use. Please spread the word and we look forward to seeing you there!
  1. FLOC 35 – The Chief of Army recently release the Future Land Operating Concept (FLOC) 2035. As a result of this each of the Corps has been tasked to review what changes to the land operating model / environment / concept will impact them and how to mitigate. I am expecting there will be a change in the primary tasks of the Army Reserve elements to focus on some subtly different areas, however I can expand more on this later.  There are a number of points that have come out of the review, some of them are:
    1. The increasing requirement for Sappers to meet a broader range of tasks supporting more dispersed groups.
    2. The impact that Remotely Piloted Aerial Systems (RPAS) will have on our operations, the ones we are operating, random ones as well as those of an adversary.
    3. The increase in complexity in tasks, as well as New Zealand legislative requirements is driving a re-think of how we allocate tasks, in particular to our Reserve Forces.
    4. Engineers will need to look at a deployable crash rescue capability to meet future capability procurement for Army, in particular the Protected Mobility programme.
    5. Sappers may need to step into the CIMIC role.
    6. Traditional tasks that have been dormant for the last 15 years of conflict will need to be reinvigorated due to the changing environment, e.g. the impact of RPAS will force a reinvestment in time, money and people into camouflage and concealment training / equipment.
  1. The Private Public Partnership with Downer NZ continues to develop and I am expecting to see more Plant Operators out working with them in the near future. Further, we are exploring opportunities for more bridge work, particularly the bailey bridge as they do live tasks in the South Island.  It is also noteworthy that we managed to get one of their General Managers away with the 2 Engineer Regiment Command Experiential Leadership Development Activity (ELDA). This is the first time we have managed to get an ELDA completed in recent memory and to get a senior member of Downer NZ away with us was a significant value add.  It would be fair to say he was far more competent at Alpine Touring that us, largely to do with his ability to ski!

There are a few more key points that I believe we should celebrate, in no particular order:

  1. MAJ Jono Meldrum with the announcement of his Defence Meritorious Service Medal being awarded as a result of actions in South Sudan.
  2. LCPL Lloyd, 25 ESS –  Congratulations for winning the Number 8 Wire innovation award at the NZ Army Innovation Awards 2017.
  3. LCPL Shaun Taylor who won the TRADOC Joint Junior Leader Award.
  4. LCPL Cornwall and Yardley as well as LCPL Tawhara and Xia who placed 3rd and 5th respectively at the National Explosive Detector Dog Trials results.
  5. LCPL Cornwall representing the Corps at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Fire Arms and Explosives, Home Made Explosives imprinting and national testing that was organised by the 728th Military Police Battalion at Schofield Bks Hawaii in early August.
  6. SPR Todd Hamilton for selection in the NZ Team for the World Skills International competition in ABU DHABI.
  7. CPL Grant and SPR Goomes for selection to represent NZ Army in the Passchendaele Commemorations in Belgium.

As the Corps looks ahead we are currently preparing for the OP ANTARTICA recon deploying ahead of the LET, we are preparing for the Sappers Day celebration (including family day) with more details to follow from the RSM in due course. We are also moving into a busy individual training period balanced against the collective training events, with courses such as the RNZE LT-CAPT Course and BASIC Plant continuing as well as being ready to receive the international staff for the Pacific Island Country Plant Training.  We are also looking forward to marking the 75th anniversary of the first operational use of the Bailey Bridge on 29 November this year. This will be done in concert with Downer NZ, the plan is still being developed as to what this may look like, and there will be more information coming in due course.

As always, we are spread across New Zealand and the globe delivering engineering solutions – that this spread is going to increase in the next few months is only to be expected and part of our normal battle rhythm.  It will be impacting our families and us as individuals. I encourage you all to make the most of the time you have to take leave when you can and get your leave balances down. Also, I am watching with interest the hurricane season in the Caribbean and southern states of the US realising that our season may well be busy as well, we need to ensure we are ready if and when the call comes.

Keep up the good work!

I Nga Wahi Katoa

Lieutenant Colonel Terry McDonald

Commanding Officer, 2 Engineer Regiment / RNZE Regimental Colonel

NEW ZEALAND ARMY

 

June 2017

Greetings Sapper’s,

We have had a very busy quarter we are half way though the year already and it is good too take stock of where we have been, where we are and where we are heading as we step into the collective and combined training period.

The last quarter has seen a subtle shift into April of the normal cyclone season with the Regiment preparing for both TC DONNA and TC ELLA, while a deployment did not eventuate, our team led by LCPL Jobling on OP CASTOR experienced it first hand in NEW CALEDONIA. The annual deployment of personnel on OP CASTOR went well, if not a little prolonged due to weather, and demonstrated again that our relationships in the pacific with both the FANC and Vanuatu are strong. We also welcomed back the team from OP FARAD SURGE who completed the force protection upgrades in MFO South Camp. The team represented themselves, the Corps and NZDF as a whole really well. While there will always be lessons learnt from these experiences, that our team executed and achieved their mission is excellent.

At home we have finished a sub-unit exercise period, with 2 Fd Sqn completing EX POSEIDON in Kaipara and Tauranga. This exercise was two role, it was a boating exercise where the team achieved their RYA Bar Crossing qualification which is a requirement if the new Combat Engineer trade model. It was also a demolitions exercise, enabling the team to practice the core Sapper skills. 25 ESS completed EX BULLS CHALLENGE in Waiouru and Linton. This tested Sections and Troops in the execution of their core Sapper skills, culminating in a ‘longest day’ event. As you can imagine, the weather in Waiouru was in itself testing, but it was good to have Sections formed and delivering on tasks. 3 Fd Sqn completed EX BLACK TEMPEST which involved the provision of close Engineer support to 2/1 RNZIR. They conducted Explosive Method of Entry (EMOE) support to the infantry as well as search and a reserve demolition to support their Battle Handling Exercises (BHE). Again, we have been out consolidating our core Sapper skills and supporting the Land Component to ensure we can deliver our tasks on operations.

Looking ahead, for the next few months, the Unit is consolidating in Linton for maintenance periods but also the Corps Conference and Corps Sports. Prior to the Corps Conference we will be conducting Junior Leadership training to follow up on some of the lessons identified during the sub unit training. The RSM and I firmly believe that leadership underpins our Corps strength, to invest in this, in you, is key. The Corps Conference will be a chance to update on changes coming or occurring, but also look to our future and why we have laid the path for the future we have. Corps Sports will follow with a chance to enjoy each other’s company as well as compete for bragging rights and trophies. We will then launch into battle preparations for EX UBIQUE, which is being reinvigorated to certify Engineer collective training METL prior to undertaking combined arms METL certification. We will also have teams away embedded with 3 CER during EX TALISMAN SABRE 17 which includes Engr recon, and the Mobility Support Detachment (MSD) with HMEE and GCS.

There have been a few other things going on that you also need to be aware of:

  1. Engineer Trades Review:I am extremely pleased to advise you all that the Army Management Board has approved the six Trade reviews that were presented to them. This is a milestone that few Corps have achieved, we have set the bar.
  1. REM 17:As a result of the trades review, RNZE trades had a REM review conducted on them as well. I am pleased to advise that largely the recommendations presented by the REM panel were accepted by CDF. The specifics of the REM and its impact on the various trades will be briefed at both the Junior Leadership training and the Corps Conference.
  1. Army Experimentation:25 ESS have been undertaking experimentation using a deployable steel framing machine. This has been demonstrated to Army senior leadership and it is supported in principle. Pending the outcome of the experiment, there will be work going on bidding to win the resources to procure this capability. Any procurement would also include the development of a number of multifunctional designs that can be used both domestically or in support of expeditionary operations (either in support of own forces or a host nation). This would include timber / steel designs with completed QS, ROC, troops to task, construction timeline etc to enable us to better support NZDF and NZ government objectives as a whole.
  1. H&S:You will see a change in our orders of dress from 01 Jul, that is 2 Engr Regt adopting industry standards for ‘long longs’ in specific workplaces. It is in essence on sub unit yards, construction sites (whether it is a combat engineer, vertical or horizontal construction area). This change is about keeping everyone safe at work so we remain fit to fight off shore. Leaders will have the ability to make adjustments to the safety ensemble, however this is the exception rather than the rule. It is a change to how we are doing business, however it is being done with our physical safety in mind.
  1. Secondments.  Both 25 ESS and 2 Fd Sqn have been doing some work with both Downer and DoC respectively on secondment. We are working to improve training opportunities, particularly at the junior rank levels, in order to better prepare our team for deployment. While this is in its infancy, it is working well at the moment. There may well be more opportunities in the future.

I would also like to congratulate a few members of the Unit and wider Corps. You are all working to achieve outstanding results (you only need to see the current Army News to know that!), however there are some mentions I would like to make, in no particular order:

  1. The myriad of new parents in the Corps and Unit – congratulations!
  2. 3 Fd Sqn – the work at the Nelson Memorial was very well received and a good project delivered to a high standard.
  3. The team who participated in the Credentials Parade at Government House in April.
  4. LCPL Manu, 2 ER QStore – who did extremely well on his Senior Supply course.
  5. PTE Mayes, 2 ER QStore – for her selection in the NZRFU Womens 7’s Team.
  6.  CPL Thompson, 2 Fd Sqn – for his Top Student award on the SNCO Course.

I would also like to acknowledge the passing of SPR James MAAKA. It was a terrible accident, however the way the Unit and Corps pulled together to ensure one of our Sappers was farewelled is testament to our resilience and professionalism. It truly represented the Corps in the best way possible and I know James’ family appreciated it.

We Sappers continue to strive for excellence and the work that is going on right now across the Corps is proof of this.  Well done and keep it up.

I Nga Wahi Katoa

Lieutenant Colonel Terry McDonald

Commanding Officer, 2 Engineer Regiment / RNZE Regimental Colonel

New Zealand Army

 

March 2017

Sappers,

I am keen to keep everyone appraised of what is going on across the wider Corps and provide some insight to the work that is going on in different quarters.  It is hard to believe, but it is March already and 2017 is in full swing!  Since the message in December to you all there have been a few things going on, and I intend to let you know in quarterly updates (like this) so you can stay up to date with events.

From a Unit perspective our engineer based teams in both FARAD and ANTARCTICA have been doing great work. The FARAD deployment is progressing their tasks and are about 50% complete on their work schedule. They are now in the middle of their tour and have commenced their out of theatre leave programme, taking a much earned break.  The team on the ANTARCTICA deployment has concluded their assigned work two weeks early and will be back in the Unit lines in the next week – over delivering against the programmed timeline and finishing ahead of time.  RNZE Emergency Responders have been kept busy domestically this summer with OP VULCAN supporting Rural Fire efforts in both Hawkes Bay and Canterbury. Their work has really been appreciated by those communities and continued to reinforce the utility the Corps has for NZDF.  We are continuing to deploy personnel to OP MANAWA (Iraq), we have had a small team in OP TROY (middle east) and while the tropical storm season in the Pacific isn’t over, there has been no requirement to deploy on a wider HADR mission but we remain ever vigilant.

At home, while stretched thin, the focus has been on individual training with SME(NZ) conducting a number of courses, but the key ones in the last quarter being Basic Combat Engineer Course and the RNZE Lieutenant – Captains Course.  The Corps is still catching up on the previous two years of individual training periods being disrupted by TC PAM and TC WINSTON.  The RHQ has been focussed on the delivery of the RNZE trade reviews for the six trades which has included a dynamic demonstration in both Linton and Waiouru for staff from HQ NZDF. 2 Fd Sqn has been supporting individual training, shooting and completed a civil aid task in Makohika.  Looking ahead, they are preparing for troop training and explosive method of entry training.  3 Fd Sqn has been providing boating support to 2/1 RNZIR, shooting and supporting 2/1 RNZIR with urban operations.  Looking ahead, they are undertaking a military construction task in Nelson building a memorial wall with the local community in time for Anzac commemorations this year.  25 ESS has been undertaking military construction in Ardmore and Waiouru with Plant, the Mobility Support Detachment (HMEE / GCS / Dumper) have been undertaking projection training, their vertical construction teams are doing minor works in conjunction with SME(NZ) and leading the main push for both the Army Shooting Competition and the Skill at Arms competition.  Looking ahead they will be receiving their deployed personnel back, undertaking skill gap closure training (individual) and looking to deploy force elements to EX TROPIC CASTOR working with the French Army New Caledonia (FANC) in VANUATU.

Even with this all going on, our people have continued to demonstrate individual and team successes in other areas.  I would like to congratulate the following (in no particular order) for their achievements:

    1. LCPL Thompson (ERS) who has been selected to be part of the MCG for commemorative services in Gallipoli this year.
    1. CPL Woodmass (25ESS) who has been selected to be part of the MCG for commemorative services for the Western Front services this year.
    1. CPL Gardiner (25 ESS) who represented NZ Army against RNZAF in the curtain raiser for the Warriors / Gold Coast game in Feb.
    1. SPR Dye-Hutchinson (ERS) who is training for and will represent us at the Sky Tower Challenge in order to raise funds for Leukaemia and Blood Cancer New Zealand.
    1. SPR Goomes (25 ESS) who won ‘Queen of the Mountain’ during the recent regional cycling event in Feb.
    1. PTE Brown (25 ESS) who will be undertaking a trek to Everest this year to raise awareness for Cancer.
  1. 3 Fd Sqn for winning first equal in the Burnham Village Green in Jan after it was delayed due to the Kaikoura Quake.

On a more sombre note, the Corps also has two anniversaries coming for Fallen Sappers. SPR Mustapha will have his one year anniversary on 21 March and SPR Jordan will also have his one year anniversary on 31 March.  I know we continue to remember them, their friends and family throughout the year, but importantly on their anniversaries. We also continue to recognise their contribution to our family and will forever be part of our Corps fabric.

From a Corps perspective, we have had a Corps Trust meeting and intend to hold a Corps Committee meeting in the coming weeks. There are a number of things progressing, however the big project that is nearing fruition is the publication of the RNZE Corps History.  It is looking likely that the official release is going to occur in March 2018, there will be more information to follow as this project progresses.  I would take this opportunity to encourage those who are not contributing to the Engineer Corps Memorial Centre to consider doing so, it is a worthwhile contribution to ensure that our history is preserved.

In leveraging the good work that LTCOL Paul Hayward put into the development of a Corps strategy we have recently done some work with the Sub Unit command teams to develop this further. It is intended to socialise it further when the Unit Officers / SNCO do a command offsite on the Army Marae over the period 10-12 April.  The focus is to provide the Corps an aim point in 2025 to enable us to look at the capability requirements beyond the pending Tactical Mobility Project and identify gaps to fill.  You will all need to be part of the conversation in this regard.

The Corps is also now on social media. The intent is to tell past and present Sappers what is going on and showcase the good work that Engineers do on behalf of NZDF. If you aren’t following the Facebook page, I would encourage you to do so, stay up to date with what is going on in the Unit and wider Corps.

I would also like to thank WO1 Lyall Mooney, the Regimental Sergeant Major who will be handing over the reins of RSM 2 Engr Regt on parade on 10 April 2017 to WO1 Greg Hinch.  He has worked tirelessly to champion the Sappers, the Unit and the Corps. On behalf of the Corps I would like to thank you for your council and your support; I wish you the best of luck in your new role at the Land Operations Training Centre.  To WO1 Hinch, welcome back to the Regiment and I am confident that you will continue to do great work in the appointment of RSM.

As I mentioned in my last email, our strength remains the sum of our parts, that is each of us performing our roles to the highest professional standards that allow us to achieve. You are all continuing to deliver to high professional standards and we are continuing to make strong progress – keep going!

Kind regards

Lieutenant Colonel Terry McDonald

Commanding Officer, 2 Engineer Regiment / RNZE Regimental Colonel

NEW ZEALAND ARMY

 

December 2016

Sappers of the RNZE,

It has been another busy year for the Corps which has been characterised by multiple deployments, both at home and abroad, training activity and support to the wider NZDF.  Sappers are serving right across the NZDF and are representing themselves, the Corps and you extremely well.

Some of the  major events of the year for 2 Engineer Regiment have been the support to operations with OP MANAWA (Iraq), OP TROY (Middle East), OP VULCAN (Tasmania), OP FARAD (Sinai), a deployment to Fiji in support of the TC WINSTON response, the Kaikoura Earthquake response and construction personnel have deployed further a field. Domestically RNZE have supported the completion of the RNZAF Turangawaewae and a number of other construction projects such as DIY Marae and the Elliot VC Club in Linton.  Personnel have supported Ex Croix du Sud, Ex Hamel, Joint Waka, Ex Kiwi Koru, CANEX and Ex Tropic Twilight in Tonga. Ceremonially, personnel have been involved with Bastille Day in Paris, the Beating of the Retreat recently in Palmerston North as well as Royal Guards for the Netherlands and Jordan Royals among many others. The Corps also hosted the Royal Engineers rugby team as part of the wider Sapper 300 celebrations.

There have been some major achievements within the wider Corps through the year as well. We have all but completed a Combat Engineer Trade review, the Emergency Responder trade review is ongoing and have almost completed the Seaworthiness requirements for small boating. The Combat Engineer trade review recognises the technical speciality inherent in modern combat engineering and provides technical pathways for the trade members. These are no small achievements and the hard work undertaken by many members on these projects should be congratulated.

I would like to congratulate those who have been recently recognised for operational deployments through the awarding of medals, promotions, completing apprenticeships, long service and a myriad of other awards. Well done.

This time of year is also a time to reflect on those who are no longer physically with us, but will always remain part of our Corps fabric. The sad passing of Sapper Danny Jordan is a reminder of this and when we think of absent friends, I am sure you will also think of him and his family.

As we close 2016, RNZE is leading the way, preparing a composite Troop for an Engineer deployment to the Sinai Peninsular in 2017, we have members currently deployed to the Sinai, Iraq and Antarctica. Members of the Corps continue to represent themselves, the Army and New Zealand proudly. Sappers of the present are truly living up to the benchmark laid by our predecessors.

2017 will be another year with a variety of tasks. Whether it is successful deployments, conduct of trade reviews or Exercise Southern Katipo 2017, we will continue to demonstrate our agility and flexibility as well as our Corps motto – Ubique.  Our strength remains the sum of our parts, that is each of us performing our roles to the highest professional standards that allow us to achieve.

I hope you all have a good Christmas break and enjoy some time with your families or loved ones – it is a well deserved. I look forward to serving with you again in the new year.

Kind regards

Terry McDonald

LTCOL

CO 2 Engr Regt / RNZE Regt Col