Friday, August 2, 2013
A statement from Dr. Jonathan Coleman, Defence Minister
These claims have surfaced on a number of blogs and social media sites this morning, and they are being repeated widely in the news media.
It is not the usual policy of this government to comment on the calendar. However, the allegations put forward are of such a grave nature that we saw no alternative but to address them directly.
I have put these allegations to the New Zealand Defence Force, and they have conducted a thorough investigation into this matter. I have now been assured by Lieutenant General Rhys Jones, the Chief of the Defence Force, that there is no evidence to back up any of these allegations.
Our Defence Force do a magnificent job, sometimes under very difficult circumstances. They are a dedicated and professional group of men and women, and I am satisfied that their integrity is beyond reproach. I am entirely satisfied with the explanation given by the Chief of the Defence Force, because I have no doubt that if it were in fact Friday the second of August I would have been briefed on the matter.
If people are going to continue to make wild accusations about today’s date, then they owe it to the people of this country to provide hard evidence. The allegations made this morning are without substance, and no evidence has been provided to back them up.
I will not be making any further comment on this matter, except to remind the people spreading these dangerous rumours that we are aware of their conduct, and we will be watching them closely to ensure they do not continue to sully the good name of our Defence Force.