Army job discussions continue

Consultation is continuing over potential job losses at the New Zealand Defence Force army base in Dunedin, despite earlier implementation of a South Island battalion amalgamation.

Civilians working for the Fourth Otago and Southland Battalion Group (4 O'South) could lose their jobs as a result of the amalgamation, which took effect on December 7.

A defence force spokesman said this week consultation in respect of job losses was continuing and there was no expected confirmation date.

The spokesman said a ceremony to mark the amalgamation was being planned for next March, although a location and other details had yet to be decided.

In the merger, 4 O'South was amalgamated with the Second Canterbury, Nelson, Marlborough and West Coast Battalion Group.

The new outfit, the 2/4 Battalion of the Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment, would comprise an Otago and Southland sub-unit.

Last month, defence force land component commander Brigadier Mark Wheeler confirmed the change would result in a reduced number of civilian staff within Otago, of which five were in Dunedin.

How the reduction occurred had yet to be decided.

Battalion amalgamations have taken place throughout New Zealand as part of changes outlined in the Defence White Paper of 2010, which aimed to save the defence force up to $400 million.

- rosie.manins@odt.co.nz

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