New Zealand navy export management evaluation to be led by former MBIE head David Smol

2021-04-12 12:07:50

A former authorities official has been tasked with reviewing New Zealand’s navy exports controls regime.

MBIE Chief Executive, David Smol

MBIE Chief Government, David Smol
Picture: RNZI / Koro Vaka’uta

The evaluation was commissioned by the Ministry of Overseas Affairs and Commerce (MFAT) after TVNZ reported an Air New Zealand unit was finishing up restore work on planes for the Royal Saudi Navy. The evaluation can be led by David Smol, a former chief govt of the Ministry of Enterprise, Innovation and Employment.

Air New Zealand later terminated the contract. MFAT cleared itself of wrongdoing, figuring out the engines weren’t a managed good.

Nevertheless, RNZ later revealed MFAT had authorized exports of navy items to forces in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), regardless of issues by the United Nations and rights teams that this tools could also be fuelling Yemen’s civil conflict.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE, that are a part of a coalition that’s supporting Yemen’s ousted president Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, have carried out intensive and, in keeping with the UN, indiscriminate bombing of areas in Yemen managed by Houthi insurgent forces. MFAT officers have stood by the export permits.

In an announcement, MFAT mentioned the evaluation “will cowl the legislative mandate for the export controls framework, the Ministry of Overseas Affairs and Commerce’s implementation of the framework, and all related insurance policies, roles, delegations and enterprise apply.”

No timeline has been set.

The ministry added that Smol “brings appreciable expertise and experience to the evaluation as a former senior public service chief”.

In accordance with Phrases of Reference posted on the ministry’s web site, the evaluation will embrace fieldwork involving the evaluation of “a pattern of export allow functions and approvals”.

The six “key enterprise contacts” listed for the evaluation are made up of MFAT officers.

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