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Latest Defence accommodation rent increases unfortunate according to RSA

SUPPORT | VETERANS | 2023-11-02

The RSA believes Wednesday’s announcement from the New Zealand Defence Force that they are increasing rental charges for Defence Housing and Barracks, is a further erosion of conditions of service for those who serve. The increased changes do not take into consideration the unique circumstances facing serving Defence personnel.

While the RSA appreciates the NZDF has limited control over setting the rental rates we are calling for the incoming Government to accelerate plans to review the overall conditions of service for NZDF servicemen and women and ensure that the reviews currently underway to review aspects of remuneration are completed urgently.

Outgoing Defence Minister Andrew Little recently stated that the New Zealand Government has a “moral obligation to ensure our sailors, soldiers, and aviators are fairly paid for the critical and often dangerous work they do”.  In practice, the efforts made earlier this year to improve retention of personnel with increases to remuneration will be seriously compromised by the changes to housing rental rates.

The New Zealand Defence Force is facing record levels of attrition, personnel shortfalls in critical trades and ranks, while seeking to attract new recruits. The RSA implores the incoming government to address housing, pay, accommodation, superannuation, medical and dental support available to military personnel.

By any measure, and in comparison, to our traditional Defence partners, the conditions of service for members of the NZDF do not reflect the unique role our service personnel perform on behalf of all NZ citizens.

The RSA has seen a steady increase in service personnel seeking support for basic necessities and this latest announcement is expected to further increase the hardship being experienced by those who serve, and their whānau.

The rental increase will take effect in April 2024. The RSA has begun work to determine how it can assist service personnel through its Support Network and Support Hubs on NZDF Camps and Bases to meet the demand sought by those service personnel and their whānau affected by the rental increases .

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