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NZDF appoint expert behaviour panel

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 31/05/2016

Commander Philip Wiig repeatedly grabbed at the woman's buttocks during the evening. © Getty Images Commander Philip Wiig repeatedly grabbed at the woman's buttocks during the evening. An expert panel has been established by the New Zealand Defence Force to help prevent inappropriate and harmful sexual behaviours by its members.

The external advisors include the chief commissioner of the Human Rights Commission David Rutherford as well as other experts from police, judiciary as well as victim advocates.

It is a part of the NZDF's Operation RESPECT Action Plan launched in March.

Lieutenant General Tim Keating says it's time to reset the standards as the NZDF receives around 10 complaints that are identified as serious assaults each year.

"We don't underestimate the complexity of the issues and behaviours sexual violence involve," Lt Gen. Keating said.

"I know the overwhelming majority of our Defence Force are great people, and that they deplore as much as I do people who choose to not live by our values."

Earlier this month a Navy commander was dismissed from service after he was found guilty of indecent assaulting a junior female officer at an event in 2012.

Commander Philip Wiig repeatedly grabbed at the woman's buttocks during the evening.

OPERATION RESPECT STEERING GROUP

* David Rutherford, Chief Commissioner, Human Rights Commission

* Superintendent Tusha Penny, National Manager Prevention, New Zealand Police

* Dale La Hood, Crown Prosecutor

* Yvette Tinsley, Associate Professor of Law, Victoria University of Wellington

* Louise Nicholas, Victims Advocate

* Emma Powell, Head of Injury Prevention, Partnerships & Delivery, ACC

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