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Defence science review making good progress

15 February 2011

The independent expert panel reviewing the provision of defence science and technology support in New Zealand and the role of the Defence Technology Agency (DTA) says it is making good progress.

The three-person panel of Rear Admiral (Rtd) David Ledson, Dr Helen Anderson and Mr Neville Jordan have begun the task of analysing submissions made after the official submission period closed earlier this week. Panel lead, David Ledson, says over 30 submissions were received from interested organisations and individuals.

In addition to seeking public submissions, the panel has been talking with interested stakeholders in New Zealand, and talking with defence science and technology experts from overseas.

Rear Admiral Ledson says the panel began its work by meeting with key staff at the DTA, and from the New Zealand Defence Force and Ministry of Defence.  In seeking key scientific and industry insights, the panel has discussed science and technology matters with representatives from right across the national science and technology sector; including Professor Sir Peter Gluckman, Science Advisor to the Prime Minister, the Defence Industry Association, and the Defence Industry Committee.

The panel has consulted government agencies including Police, Customs, NZSIS, GCSB, NIWA, the Ministry of Economic Development, Treasury, and the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. They have also talked in New Zealand with academics and individual businesses involved in technology innovation.

Discussions with the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) in Australia identified useful opportunities for cooperation and collaboration between DSTO and DTA – and provided valuable insights into the contribution that defence science and technology can make to the generation, development and sustainment of military capabilities.  

“I would like to thank all those people who have shared their time and their knowledge with the panel,” says Rear Admiral Ledson.

“These perspectives have been very important in helping those of us on the panel in formulating our ideas about the importance of defence science and technology to the Defence Force in particular and, more broadly, to national efforts in the security, science and technology sectors.”

A final report on the findings of the Review is expected to go to the Minister of Defence in late March, 2011.

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