WELLINGTON, NZ (Reuters) – The historically high attrition rates in New Zealand’s Defence Force could be slowing down as the new cash pumped into the Force delays resignations. New Zealand Defence Forces Chiefs stated on Thursday.
In the past two years, the New Zealand Defence Force has lost around 30% of its trained personnel. This has led to the early retirement of three ships and the P-3 Orion fleet.
The Defence Minister Andrew Little stated that he was informed that some resignations were withdrawn, and that the number of resignations submitted had decreased as a result a bonus given to the defence force staff in the beginning of the year, and the news that salaries will increase starting July.
Little said to a parliamentary panel, "It is at least that you have this benefit."
Attrition in the defence forces comes at a moment when they are increasingly needed. New Zealand sent a contingent to Britain to assist with the training Ukrainian forces, and the defense force needs to respond to disasters caused by climate change.
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The military is being put in the spotlight by the increasing geopolitical rivalry between China, the United States and their allies.
In May, the New Zealand government announced that it would increase the budget of the Defence Force over four years to NZ$748 millions. More than half the money was allocated for the salary increases of the defence force personnel.
Kevin Short, Chief of Defence Force, told the committee that while there are signs of a slowing in attrition, many personnel are waiting to see if they will remain with the defence force. He also said more data is needed before he can say the situation has improved.
He said that the Defence Force had also conducted a number recruitment campaigns, including reaching out reservists. However, he was unsure of their success.